HARPER & BROTHERS PUBLISHERS
NEW YORK AND LONDON
The author acknowledges with thanks the
courtesy of the editors of Life, The New
York Times, Woman s Home Companion,
Harper s Magazine, The Century, St. Nicholas,
Collier s Weekly, The Bookman, Munsey s
Magazine, Scribner s Magazine, Puck, The
Youth s Companion, Smart Set, The Ladies
Home Journal, The Ladies 1 World, Good
Housekeeping, and The Sun, in granting
permission to reprint the verses contained in
THE LAUGHING MUSE
Copyright, 1915, by Harper & Brothers
Printed in the United States of America
Published September, 1915
FATE, THE JESTER
The planets are bells on his motley,
He fleers at the stars in their state,
He banters the suns burning hotly
The Jester whose nickname is Fate.
The lanterns that kindle their rays with
The comets, are food for his mirth;
But, oh, how he laughs as he plays with
His mad little bauble, the Earth!
He looks on the atomies crowding
The face of our pitiful ball;
His form in the nebula shrouding,
He chuckles, unnoted of all
The valorous puppets that chatter
Superbly of Little and Great.
A flip of his finger would shatter
The dreams of these "Masters of Fate"
He laughs at their strivings and rages
And tosses the murmurant sphere
To bowl through the zodiac-stages
That measure the groove of a Year.
He laughs as he trips up the maddest
Who scramble for power and place,
But laughs with the bravest and gladdest
Fate s comrades, who laugh in his face;
Who laugh at themselves and their troubles
Whatever the beaker they quaff;
Who, laughing at Vanity s bubbles,
Forget not to love as they laugh;
Who laugh in the teeth of disaster,
Yet hope through the darkness to find
A road past the stars to a Master
Of Fate in the vastness behind.
FATE, THE JESTER v
THE QUEST OF THE RIBBAND 3
STRICTLY GERM-PROOF n
THE LEGEND OF THE FIRST CAM-U-EL .... 13
A PROVERBIAL TRAGEDY 16
THE HAT 17
A TROPICAL TRAGEDY 21
THE QUEST OF THE CAR 23
A TRACT FOR AUTOS 31
THE TALE OF A DAGHESTAN RUG 34
A PURE MATHEMATICIAN 40
THE POEM ON SPRING . . . 42
TRUE SPRING 47
AN ADIRONDACK IDYLL 48
A BUNGALOW 52
DORLAN S HOME-WALK 55
BASEBALL IN DE PARK 59
A NEW MEXICAN BO-PEEP 62
THE MEXICAN HAMMOCK . , 67
A LAY OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY ...... 70
THE PILGRIMS THANKSGIVING FEAST .... 73
THE WISHBONE 75
A TRUE BILL AGAYNST CHRISTMASSE .... 77
THE STOCKING 79
A BRIDGE SCANDAL 81
HENRY HUDSON S LOG 82
WHITE MAGIC 85
A PERSIAN APOLOGUE 86
A HINDU RIDDLE 94
THE IRREVERENT BRAHMIN 95
THE STONE S JOKE 98
THE BEST AND WORST NAIL IN THE ARK . . 100
WHAT THE DEVIL SAID TO NOAH 103
MIDNIGHT ALPHABET 105
THIS Is SHE in
THE LASSES o* LINTON 114
THE WIND MAIDEN 117
A SKETCH FROM THE LIFE 118
A WHOLE DAY! 120
ONE FEATHER 121
THE COUNTRY DANCE 123
THE ORGAN-GRINDER LADY AND THE SCISSORS-
GRINDER MAN 124
A GREEK SONG 128
THE GROCERY BOY 129
A SONG FOR SILVIUS 130
THE PASSIONATE SUBURBANITE TO His LOVE . 131
OUR SUBURB 133
LOVERS LANE 135
TWIST-RHYME ON WOMEN 137
A VALENTINE 138
A BILL FROM CUPID 140
THE RAG DOLLY S VALENTINE 142
A BOY AND A PUP , 145
ON CHERUBS 147
A STRIKE IN FAIRYLAND 150
HOUSE BLESSING 152
WHY TIGERS CAN T CLIMB 155
PIGEON ENGLISH 157
THE MINA-BIRD !ij9
THE CARDINAL-BIRD 161
THE SMALL HOT ROBIN AND THE LARGE COLD
WHY MOSQUITOES STING 164
THE BEE !66
THE FIRST CAT 168
THE KITTY AND THE CAT 170
LITTLE LOST PUP 174
THE AMBIGUOUS DOG . . 176
THE TALE OF TAILS 177
COYOTE AND THE STAR 181
HOMEWARD BOUND 185
THE BALLAD OF THE BLACKBIRD 186
THE BAT 190
TEA WITH A DINOSAUR 191
THE HUMMING-BIRD 194
THE RABBIT OF WALES 195
THE CUCKOO 200
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW . 205
RUDYARD KIPLING 209
JACK LONDON 213
JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY 215
LETTERS TO THE LITERATI:
To SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE . . . . 218
To J. M. BARRIE 221
To MAURICE HEWLETT 224
BELLA DONNA, BY ROBERT HICHENS . . . 227
DlVINA COMMEDIA 230
THE YOUNG CELTIC POETS 231
THE WRATH OF THE POET 234
THE NEO-CELTIC CRITICISM 237
THE VILLAIN PROTESTS 239
OPERA IN ENGLISH: AIDA 241
WHAT THE EDITOR W T ANTS 244
THE MENTORS 246
THE QUEST OF THE RIBBAND
LORD RONALD was lord of a high domain
(He dwelt on the eighteenth floor).
His bride was the Beauteous Lady Jane,
A rose-colored robe she wore.
A boudoir cap o* the velvet fine
Lay soft on her tresses gold.
She read the Advertisements line for line
To know what the Papers told:
Of laces at Macy s, of thimbles at Gimbel s, of urns
at Stern s and churns at Hearn s, of axes at Saks s,
gold eagels at Siegel s, rubber heels at O Neill s, fur
mittens like Peary 9 s at Mr. McCreery s, and silver
salt-shakers at John Wanamakers.
"Now busk thee and boun thee, Lord Ronald!"
"Away to the Bargain Sale
And fetch me a Band o the Silk o j Pride
O* the hue o the lilac pale!
"A Silken Band o j the width o my hand
And rilled as the water clear;
Of yards full three its length shall be,
And its shade like the Sample, here!"
The Sample he took from her fingers white,
He kissed her with kisses four,
And hied him away oh, the Hardy Knight!
To the Gate o the Mammoth Store.
To him in the rush o j that Awesome Place
Where gaping and dumb he stood,
A Floor-Walker ambled with dainty grace
And questioned him what he would.
Quoth Ronald, "Thou Floor- Walker great and
A Word in thy Pearly Ear:
Now where shall I get me a Silken Band
0* the shade o* the Sample here?"
He patted himself on the nut-brown hair,
That Floor- Walker bright and brave;
He pointed his Thumb to the marble stair
And said, with a Gracious Wave:
"Third aisle, right; down one flight; elevator;
escalator; eighth floor, west; trousers pressed; second
turning; wood-burning; shipping-clerk; fancy-work;
straight ahead; cake and bread; past rest-room;
near guest-room; photo-mounter; Ribbon-counter!"
"Gramercy!" him answered Lord Ronald then,
And turned on his heel full swift,
And battled his way to that iron pen
Which Englishmen call "The Lift."
While up through the glimmering shaft they sped
As fast as a Shooting Star,
He spake to the Youth o the Woolly Head
That governed the Iron Car:
"Say thou o the Cap that is brightly bound
Wi Braid o j the Golden Fleece,
Oh, where may a Ribband o Silk be found
That s like to my Sample Piece?"
The Galliard that governed the speeding Car
From out of his dream awoke.
He halted the Cage wi a grinding jar,
He opened his lips and spoke:
" Mind the door! Eighth floor! Iron-heaters,
carpet-beaters; negligees, lacquer trays; prince sse
slips, ostrich tips; curtain-poles, bolster-rolls; Brus
sels nets, shaving-sets; ticket-punches, boxed lunch
es; office dials, graded vials; -pillow-shams, smoked
hams; silver gauze, rabbit paws; riding-crops, kitchen
mops; opera scores, cedar oars; menu-holders, bill-
folders; wax matches, window-catches; music chimes,
pickled limes; paper pencils, pattern stencils; pow
der-jars, fine cigars; printing-presses, party dresses;
perambulators, over-gaiters, nutmeg- graters, indica
tors; champagne-nippers, copper dippers, wire-clip
pers, carpet slippers; couches, pouches; broilers,
oilers; puzzles, muzzles; biggins, piggins; pins,
tins; nibs, bibs; chains, canes; balls, shawls; dotted
veils, percales, wooden pails, Special Sales: New
books , view books; sets of Gibbons, SILK
Now halted Lord Ronald and wavered long,
But thought on his Dame s behest;
And forth through the whirl of the jostling throng
He fared on his knightly Quest.
He sought for that Ribband of lilac hue
Desired of his queenly Bride.
Unswerving he held to his Purpose true,
For nothing he turned aside,
Though sirens expanded their Golden Smiles
To dazzle the Daring Man
Where hither and yon in the tangled aisles
Were Magical Scrolls which ran:
"Rices, spices lowest prices!" "Lamps, guimpes
trading - stamps!" "Braids, brocades highest
grades!" " Waists assorted just imported!"
"Fancy collars seven dollars!" "Caps for nurses
suit all purses!" "Pure confections choice selec
tions!" " Water - wings, garden - swings; baby-
wagons, crystal flagons; herbariums, aquariums;
thermometers, barometers; zoetropes, microscopes,
braided ropes, envelopes; stocks, blocks, frocks,
clocks; mixing-bowls, casseroles!"
Right onward he pressed to a Counter, dressed
Wi Ribbands of every shade;
And he was aware of a Maiden there
Which spake to another Maid.
But still as she chattered, that Maiden young,
And settled her combs aright,
"Now hearken, O Maid o the Lively Tongue,"
Cried Ronald, the Hardy Knight!
"For fain would I buy wi the Silver due,
Or else wi the gude red Gold,
A Ribband o Silk o the lilac hue
That s like to the Shred I hold."
She daunted the Knight wi a Vacant Glare
As though he were far away.
She palsied his lips wi a Stony Stare
While ever she said her say:
" Sez I, sez you, sez they, sez he; sez I to her, sez
she to me. Sez I to him, We got to part! Oh,
Girlie, ain t you got no heart? sez he, so sad, I nearly
cried. He d took her for a auto-ride that Sadie!
Ain t she got a nerve! Sez I to him, You don t
deserve Sez he, f Just give a man a chance!
Sez I, You goin to the dance? Sez I to him, sez
he to me; sez you, sez they, sez I, sez she."
Lord Ronald was stout, Lord Ronald was hale,
Lord Ronald was bold, forby;
His gauntlet he set on the counter-rail;
He vaulted that Counter high!
The Ribbands, he rummaged them To and Fro,
He scattered them Fro and To,
Till he Sund in its wrapping as white as snow
The Ribband of lilac hue.
Then yards full three wi his Snickersnee
He cut of that Ribband gay;
On the Counter he told its Weight in Gold
And carried the Prize away;
Away from the Damsel of Cold Disdain,
Away from the Mammoth Store.
And he and the Beauteous Lady Jane
Lived happily ever more.
THE Antiseptic Baby and the Prophylactic Pup
Were playing in the garden when the Bunny gam
They looked upon the Creature with a loathing
It wasn t Disinfected and it wasn t Sterilized.
They said it was a Microbe and a Hotbed of
They steamed it in a vapor of a thousand-odd
They froze it in a freezer that was cold as Banished
And washed it in permanganate with carbolated
In sulphureted hydrogen they steeped its wiggly
They trimmed its frisky whiskers with a pair of
They donned their rubber mittens and they took
it by the hand
And lected it a member of the Fumigated Band.
There s not a Micrococcus in the garden where
They bathe in pure iodoform a dozen times a day;
And each imbibes his rations from a Hygienic
The Bunny and the Baby and the Prophylactic
THE LEGEND OF THE FIRST CAM-U-EL
AN ARABIAN APOLOGUE
ACROSS the sands of Syria,
Or, possibly, Algeria,
Or some benighted neighborhood of barrenness and
There came the Prophet Sam-u-el
Upon the Only Cam-u-el
A bumpy, grumpy Quadruped of discontented
The atmosphere was glutinous;
The Cam-u-el was mutinous;
He dumped the pack from off his back; with
horrid grunts and squeals
He made the desert hideous;
With strategy perfidious
He tied his neck in curlicues, he kicked his paddy
Then quoth the gentle Sam-u-el,
"You rogue, I ought to lam you well!
Though zealously I ve shielded you from every
grief and woe,
It seems, to voice a platitude,
You haven t any gratitude.
I d like to hear what cause you have for doing
thus and so!"
To him replied the Cam-u-el,
"I beg your pardon, Sam-u-el.
I know that I m a Reprobate, I know that I m a
But, oh! this utter loneliness!
My too-distinguished Onliness!
Were there but other Cam-u-els I wouldn t be
The Prophet beamed beguilingly.
"Aha," he answered, smilingly,
"You feel the need of company? I clearly under
We ll speedily create for you
The corresponding mate for you
Ho! presto, change-o, dinglebat!" he waved a
And, lo! from out Vacuity
A second Incongruity,
To wit, a Lady Cam-u-el was born through magic
Her structure anatomical,
Her form and face were comical;
She was, in short, a Cam-u-el, the other s counter
As Spaniards gaze on Aragon,
Upon that Female Paragon
So gazed the Prophet s Cam-u-el, that primal
A connoisseur meticulous,
He found her that ridiculous
He grinned from ear to auricle until he split his lip!
Because of his temerity
That Cam-u-el s posterity
Must wear divided upper lips through all their
A prodigy astonishing
Those wicked, heartless married men who ridicule
A PROVERBIAL TRAGEDY
THE Rolling Stone and the Turning Worm
And the Cat that Looked at a King
Set forth on the Road that Leads to Rome
For Youth will have its Fling,
The Goose will lay the Golden Eggs,
The Dog must have his Day,
And Nobody locks the Stable Door
Till the Horse is stol n away.
But the Rolling Stone, that was never known
To Look before the Leap
Plunged down the hill to the Waters Still
That run so dark, so deep;
And the leaves were stirred by the Early Bird
Who sought his breakfast where
He marked the squirm of the Turning Worm
And the Cat was Killed by Care!
IT was a Gallant blithe and gay
That walked the City Street;
The Street, ywot, was hight "Broadway,"
The Gallant, "Master William Gray."
He sought an Inn, yclept "Cafe,"
Because he wished to eat.
He swung the Door with mickle Joy
And entered in thereat,
When came a Little Blackguard Boy
With Buttons all of Brass Alloy,
Which, much to Master Gray s Annoy,
Essayed to Check his Hat.
The pretty Hat! twas made of Fur,
It bore a Ribband Bow;
Twas soft and smooth as Miniver;
That gentle Hat it seemed to purr;
And Master Gray with strong Demur
Refused to let it go.
"Thou shalt not have the Hat, pardee!
That rests upon my Brow;
A Hat it is of High Degree,
Fve worn it both by Land and Sea,
And in its Youth it sheltered me,
And I ll protect it now!"
Yet strove that Boy with Might and Main
And showed a Screed of Rules
Where "Check your Hat!" was written plain
And eke, "All Guests must drink Champagne/
Quoth Master Gray in High Disdain,
"Such Laws are made for Fools!"
"Thou dst check my Hat, forsooth? I know
Right well the why* and whence !
That when I boun myself to go
Thou dst brush it hard, mon beau chapeau,
And smirk, and smile, and lout full low
To cozen me of Pence!"
But now the Host a strong Array
Of Waiters mustered there,
Which muttered, "Lout!" and "Country Jay!"
"Where wouldst thou hang thy Hat?" scoffed
Replied this Gallant, blithe and gay,
"F faith, beneath my Chair!"
They called the Watch with lusty Shout:
The City Watch renowned,
With Fire-lads, a sturdy Rout,
And Train-bands, too, came bustling out,
And all to tame the Stubborn Lout
Which sternly held his Ground.
"Give up the Hat," now swelled the Cry,
"As it is meet ye should!"
Whereto this Gallant made Reply,
"Come One, come All, this Hat shall fly
From its firm Base as soon as I!"
And there the Matter stood
Until Our People, Arms in Hand,
Uprose! Their wild Debates
And Tumults moved our Statesmen bland
To change the Code which rules the Land
The Constitution great and Grand
Of These United States!
They framed a Law, those Statesmen good,
In Congress as they sat:
"Hereafter be it understood
That None that seeks an Inn for Food
Need Check his Headpiece, Cap, or Hood,
Which is to say, his Hat."
Then chant the Praise, with joyous Din,
Of dauntless Master Gray,
Which braved the Terrors of that Inn,
The Hat-boy s Scowl, the Waiters Grin,
And kept his Hat through Thick and Thin
Upon that Famous Day!
A TROPICAL TRAGEDY
AN Agile Ambulating Alligator
Observed upon the bank one sultry eve,
A Patronizing Prestidigitator
With positively nothing up his sleeve.
The Ravenous Reptilian Alligator
Remarked, "It must be deuced hot in town!"
And, winking at a Passing Legislator,
He gulped the Prestidigitator down.
Alas! the Portly Prestidigitator
Was garnished with his Implements of Art
A Wand, a Patent Lightning Calculator,
A Rabbit and a Necromantic Chart.
Such Objects in the Saurian s Equator
Could hardly fail to put him out of trim;
In fact, the Late-repenting Alligator
Acknowledged that they disagreed with him.
And thus a Drear, Dyspeptic Alligator
Is stretched upon the Silicated Sands;
A Predigested Prestidigitator
Is what his Constitution now demands.
THE QUEST OF THE CAR
AN AUTO-BUY-O-GRAPHIC BALLAD
"Now whither and whither, Lord Ronald so gay,
And whither so free and so far?"
"I haste to the Bounds o the Great White Way
To choose me a Motor-Car."
"And what of the Car that ye mean to buy
Its name and its Pedigree?"
"Oh, ask of the Wind in the sounding Sky,
But ask not that of me!
"For it may be a Leal or a Pupmobile,
A Krag or a Biff-McClung;
For many, ye ken, are the Motor Men
And marvelous glib of Tongue.
"It may be a Czar or a Kwiggle-Kar,
Or else, for aught I know,
3 [2 3 ]
A Reinhardt-Fritz or a Dunderblitz
Or a Clement-Rochefoucauld.
*o c, k f titcoe
"For vowed am I to a Mission high
To search from East to West
All Lands that are till I find the Car
Which is approved the Best.
"For I have sworn to my Lady Jane
By her milk-white hand so small
That none will I take for her sweet Sake,
Until I have seen them all!"
Lord Ronald was come to a proud Garage
That stood by a dismal Fen;
And there, by the Sound of their Persiflage,
He knew were the Motor Men.
And one there was with the Eagle Eye,
The Face of the Hatchet True,
The Shell-rimmed Glass and the Bulgar Tie
And the Collar edged with blue.
Oh, Rubies four had the Ring he wore,
His Coat had the Latest Shape;
And his Cheek, shaved clean by a Razor keen,
Was the Cheek of the Brazen Ape.
He haled the Knight by the Fingers wan
To where with Radiance crowned,
A Golden Car was throned upon
A Turning-table round.
Oh, twice he bowed and thrice he bowed
Before that Golden Chaise;
Then full and strong and loud and long
He sang its Hymn of Praise:
"Approach! Approach! redoubted Knight! Ap
proach, oh, lucky Neophyte, and view upon this
wooden Stage the Wonder of the Horseless Age;
the King, the Ace, the Jack and Queen of all that
runs by Gasoline; Invention s Incandescent Star,
the Unexampled Kwiggle-Kar! The Motor, first:
I wish to state the Cylinders (they number eight
with Tungsten Valves] are cast en bloc; and steady,
steady as a Clock this Shaft of Higginbotham Steel
propels the Patent Caisson Wheel which cannot
slip in Mud or Mire because it wears the Skidmore
Tire. Observe the Sweep from Front to Rear!
the Spiral Bevel Axle Gear, the Floating Axle,
Intake Pipe, the Carburetor (Ogham type)! Can
Future Ages say too much about our Multimetal
Clutch the Brake that never disappoints, the Ban
ning Universal Joints? Remark our patent Sud
den Stop ! Oh, see our Spanish Leather Top,
the easy-swinging Pinchless Door, the Turkish Rug
upon the Floor! The Cushions, neatly tilted there,
are stuffed with Hand-picked Monkey Hair. The
Roland Horn the Oval Springs the Case for
Goggles, Gloves, and Things Ignition Circu
lation Splash Transmission Spark Plug
Bumper Dash Magneto Radiator
Feed Control Equipment Starter Speed! "
He gasped and he clutched at the Atmosphere,
He fell to the Parquet Floor.
Lord Ronald bequeathed him a Silent Tear
And went to the Shop Next Door.
"Come hither! * he cried to the Man in Charge,
"O thou of the Stately Mien,
And tell of the Merits both small and large
Possessed of thy Buzz machine!
"For far have I ridden and far must ride
Abroad on my Knightly Quest
To find, of all Cars in the World so wide,
That Car which is proved the Best."
The Motor Man rose from a Mission Bench
That was of the Quartered Oak,
And, beating the Air with a Monkey Wrench,
His rhythmical Piece he spoke:
"They brag yet do not heed howe er these others
boast of Safety, Smoothness, Speed, or Trips from
Coast to Coast. For even if they show a Vase for
Silken Flowers, they have not well they know!
a WIND SHIELD like to ours! All others in the
Field lament: Alack, alas! we cannot match this
Shield which is not made of Glass 9 ! Tis cut of
Crystal clear that may not crack or dim; who has
it need not fear, for naught can injure him. Be
hold! you set it straight or slant it as you please,
at seven, twenty-eight, or forty-five Degrees! It
stops the Icy Blast, repels the Dusty Gust; it makes
the Car run fast, it keeps the Parts from Rust. It
keeps the Engine clean, it keeps the Tires sound, it
saves the Gasoline, it makes the Wheels go round.
With deep, despairing Groans our Rivals have to
yield! Then buy the Car that owns this Ne Plus
Sore tempted was Ronald, but heaved a Sigh
And quoth as he left that Hall:
"Nay, never a Motor I dare to buy
Until I have seen them all!"
And many and fair, aye, many and rare
Were the Cars that his Eyes had seen
When he entered a Store with a Rosewood Floor
A Place for a Royal Queen.
Each Lamp that glowed in that bright Abode
Was pure as a Maiden s Tear;
The Curtains that rolled from their Rods of Gold
Were pink as a Bashful Ear.
Of Onyx rich were the Columns, which
Were smooth as the Watered Silk,
And lighted through with the faint, far Blue
That shines on the City Milk.
And there in the Shade of its Rose-leaf Hood,
At rest in a Corner snug,
A Car that was built for a Fairy stood,
Its Wheels on a Persian Rug.
A Squire rose up from a Velvet Seat
And beamed on the Worthy Knight,
And chanted his Tale in a Voice as sweet
As the Trill of a Lark in Flight:
"Rest, happy Traveler! Gaze upon the Car that s
called the Oberon. A Beam of Light, a winged
Flower, the Car that moves by Secret Power. What
need to praise its Perfect Parts? Address it gently,
and it starts. Just speak to it in kindly wise, and
swiftly, softly, off it flies. Without a Murmur,
Creak, or Jar, as silent as a Shooting Star it drifts
along the Fragrant Miles, and when it sees a Hill it
smiles! A Thing of Joy and Love and Song, it
sweeps along, along, along, transporting them that
ride within afar from Trouble, Toil, and Sin! 19
He turned on Lord Ronald his Eye so brown
And paused in his lilting Lay.
But Ronald had fallen adown, adown,
A-swooning in Bliss away!
They gathered him up and they bore him home ^
Six proper young Men and tall.
He opened one Eye as the Stair they clomb
And sighed: "I have seen them all!"
They laid him to rest in his downy Bed
To comfort his weary Brain;
And tender and cool on his fevered Head
Was the Hand of his Lady Jane.
And long did he fare, in the Realms of Dream,
Anew on his Knightly Quest.
And long did he ponder the Mighty Theme
"Which Car shall be held the Best?"
He pondered the Words of the Motor Men,
Their Reasons of Pith and Force;
He visioned those Glorious Cars, and then
He rose and bought a Horse!
A TRACT FOR AUTOS
COME, all you little Runabouts
And gather round my Knee;
I ll tell you of a Touring Car
As bad as bad could be:
It worked its Klaxon overtime
To make a Horrid Noise
And thought it Fun to muss up Hens
And little Girls and Boys.
It used to blow its Tires out
To hear its Owner swear,
And loved to balk on Trolley Tracks
To give his Friends a Scare.
At last this naughty Touring Car
Got drunk on Too Much Oil,
And went a-boiling up the Road
As hard as it could boil,
And went a-plunging, tumbling down
A dreadful, dark Ravine;
And there it burns and burns and burns
In smelly Gasoline!
Another little Touring Car
Was very, very good;
It always minded Brake and Wheel,
And never splashed its Hood.
It wouldn t skid, nor anger Folks
By giving them a Shove,
But cooed as gently through its Horn
As any Sucking Dove.
It never grew Unmannerly
To Market-Cart or Dray,
But whispered, "Please," and, "Thank you,
To those that blocked its Way.
It never scattered Bolts and Plugs
About the Countryside,
But did its Level Best to be
Its Owner s Joy and Pride.
So, when twas Time to yield its Place
To Models fresh and new,
This lovely little Touring Car
Developed Planes and flew!
THE TALE OF A DAGHESTAN RUG
"Whatever their type of ornamentation may be, a
deep and complicated symbolism, originating in Baby
lon and possibly India, pervades every denomination
of Oriental carpets." SIR GEORGE BIRDWOOD.
STRANGE Stones of their Simple Lives
Do Oriental Maids and Wives
Embroider, so the Dealers tell us,
In Symbols on the Rugs they sell us.
Then read the Record woven thus
By Zillah of the Caucasus,
Deciphered by my Friend, Sardjeenian,
A Most Reliable Armenian.
Among the Hills of Daghestan
That frown upon the Wayside Khan,
Her Father s Hospitable Villa,
The Fairest of her People, Zillah,
Composed, with skilful Twist and Tug,
An Odjaklik, or Hearthside Rug;
Enweaving there in those Queer Symbols
That look like Rolling-pins and Thimbles,
Her simple Joys and Hopes and Fears,
The Story of her Maiden Years.
With Entertainment to provide her
A Long-tailed Lambkin played beside her
And cropped the Mead and quaffed the Stream ;-
A Cherished Pet with Fleece of Cream
But lately rescued from a Leopard
By Kurdish Kar, the Gentle Shepherd.
Along the Road from Erivan
A Warrior with Yataghan
And other Social Incidentals
Au fait among the Orientals,
In Cutaway Capote arrayed,
Approached to woo the Mountain Maid.
"My Name," said he, "Resplendent Zillah,
Is Ali Abdul Hassan Billah!
"I come, perhaps you understand,
To beg that Precious Gift, you Hand.
"Behold! I faint from Sheer Emotion!
Ah, let me prove my Heart s Devotion!
"Assign me any Awful Task;
I vow to do whatever you ask!"
The Maiden lisped: "Your Offer s handsome
(I know you re worth a Prince s Ransom);
"I may decide to be your Wife,
But search me first the Tree of Life
"Which blooms through all the Seasons Changes
Among our bleak Caucasian Ranges,
"And cull for me the Mystic Pear
That you will find a-growing there.
"But let me warn you, Ardent Stranger,
You ll find the Errand full of Danger!
"For first you needs must bring to Terms
The Three -horned Birds and Hunchbacked
"That lurk among the Giant Boulders
To prey on Indiscreet Beholders.
"Then must you slay a Fiercer yet
The wild Constricting Dragonette
"That dwells beyond the Andi River.
And last, oh, how the Mountains quiver
"If he but gives his Tail a Whisk!
The dread Tri-cornered Basilisk!"
Low bowed the Chief of Haughty Bearing
And galloped to the Northward, swearing
To battle, conquer, seek and find.
(And Kar the Shepherd trudged behind.)
Right gallantly adventured AH
Through Rugged Pass and Gloomy Valley.
His Sword divided into Thirds
The Hunchbacked Worms and Three - horned
Against the Serpentine Constrictor
He likewise proved a Noble Victor.
And then he challenged, brave and brisk,
The dread Tri-cornered Basilisk,
Which, pausing not to scrutinate him,
Unlocked its Grisly Jaws, and ate him!
Oh, Fatal Meal! Upon its Side
The Poisoned Creature writhed, and died!
Now Kar the Shepherd, sadly rueing,
Surveyed the Tragic Scene till, viewing
The Tree of Life unguarded there,
He gathered in the Mystic Pear.
Thus, laden down with Fate s Providings,
The Precious Fruit and Sorry Tidings,
He lifted up his Feet and ran
And told the Belle of Daghestan.
A Maiden who has lost a Lover
Should not too rapidly recover;
Still, Ali, that Unlucky Man,
Left Widows Five in Erivan;
And so the Philosophic Zillah
Resignedly remarked, "Bismillah!"
And since the Foes of Basilisks
Are not the Best Insurance Risks,
She vowed no more her Hopes to jeopard
And married Kar, the Gentle Shepherd.
A PURE MATHEMATICIAN
LET Poets chant of Clouds and Things
In lonely attics!
A Nobler Lot is his, who clings
Sublime he sits, no Worldly Strife
His Bosom vexes,
Reducing all the Doubts of Life
To Y s and X s.
And naught to him s a Primrose on
The river s border;
Is more in order.
Let Zealots vow to do and dare
And right abuses!
He d rather sit at home and square
Along his straight-ruled paths he goes
Contented with em,
The only Rhythm that he knows,
THE POEM ON SPRING
GREAT AH, the Sultan, I ve heard
(Please attend to my proem!),
Was shrewd as the serpent aye, Solon to him
was a dunce;
Who else could repeat every word
Of a sermon, a poem,
Or any old thing that was spoken before him but
While Eben al Hamid, his short
And factum factotum, they say could repeat in a
The plea of a lawyer in court
For a guilty defendant,
Or President s Message (perhaps), if he heard it
Whenever a bard would intone
An original sonnet
(For Sultans, you know, are the prey of the metri
"That s ancient," the Ruler would groan,
As Mehitable s bonnet!
Now listen, and see for yourself that I ve heard it
Whereat he would echo each phrase
With precision emphatic;
And Eben, in turn, would repeat, never missing a
The poet would slink in a daze
To his sorrowful attic,
While Eben and Ali would laugh for a week at a
Then Ali proclaimed in his pride:
"For reward I will measure
The weight of that poem in gold which is proved
to be new."
And many a balladist tried
For that fistful of treasure;
But penniless, puzzled, and shamed every singer
At length came a minstrel of guile
(From the West, so I fear me);
He tinkled his merry guitar and addressed him
"Your Highness," quoth he with a smile,
"Will it please ye to hear me?
I ve something that s Purely Unique tis a Poem
"A Genuine Triumph of Mind
That is urgently needed
By seventeen best magazines. Have I leave to
"Proceed," sighed the Sultan, resigned;
And the Minstrel proceeded
To startle the court with this Chant of Original Sin:
" Tis Spring on the lily-white leas
Of the Forest of Arden!
Tis Spring! and the blossoms appear and the
The butterflies drift on the breeze
To the elf-haunted garden;
The birdies of meadow and grove are rehearsing
" Bo-peep! Hullychee! sings the Flick;
Korry-boo! moans the Chitter;
Quee-boggle-chee-pilli-moran! sobs the Killi-
* Ping-pong ! Watchi-toodle-kerwick !
All the Merimees twitter.
The Niblick avers, Kalli-bosh, taradiddle, koroo. 5
" Go-dum, bally-hoosh P is the note
Of the Icthyosaurus.
Notorum-dorando ! the blithe Hippocampus re
Rings the jubilant chorus
Of sweet Pterodactyls that wing the cerulean skies.
" The Kiddle observes to his mate,
Elan, rododacktylos bree. While the somnolent
Ascends to the heavenly gate
Chanting, Ho! Parabellum
Enteuthen " "Help! Stop! Oh, my head!"
cried the Sultan; "Enough!
"I ve echoed queer words, I admit,
All your brotherhood downing;
But who could repeat these uncivilized sounds you
Your poem should make quite a hit
With the students of Browning
So bring in your Manuscript, friend, and the gold
shall be weighed."
The Poet went forth, and returned
With his holiday sash on,
Propelling a cart with a load of the heaviest brick
On which he had graven and burned,
The "words" of his poem! a mean, reprehen
The Sultan, demurring, tis true,
Made an end by bestowing
The weight of that poem in gold, a prodigious
And this have I sung unto you
For the purpose of showing
That even Spring Poets may manifest hard common
WHAT, spring, because a day is fair,
Because a brook is flowing,
Because a maple here and there
A flash of red is showing,
Because the frost has lost a tooth,
And ice-packs jar and splinter?
You call it "spring" because, forsooth,
It simply isn t winter!
No, spring has gladder signs than these;
I ll know that spring is coming
When lilacs blow, when velvet bees
In apple-boughs are humming,
When softer shadows fall aslant
The fragrant meadow mazes:
I ll call it spring when I can plant
One foot on seven daisies.
AN ADIRONDACK IDYLL
TWAS August; all the Verdant Vales
With Marigolds were decked;
The Groves were loud with Nightingales-
Or Birds to That Effect;
And Squirrels frolicked High and Low
While, from the Waters dim
Ambitious Troutlets leaped, to show
That they were in the Swim.
The Owl observed to Bashful Doves,
Too shy to bill and coo,
"Now, don t mind me, my Little Loves,
Proceed: To wit, to woo."
Beneath the Birch, beneath the Spruce,
Perchance beneath the Pine,
A Maiden walked, a Fair Recluse,
The lovely Angeline.
The Daughter of a Mountain Guide,
She dwelt beside the Mere;
An Orphan since her Father died
Mistaken for a Deer.
So, honoring in Memorie
Her Late Pro-gen-i-tor,
She idolized the Deer that he
Had been Mistaken For.
The Pretty Pet she often fed
With Caramels or Grass,
And Much the Antlered Quadruped
Esteemed the Forest Lass.
To her upon the Woodland Way
With Pleadings New and Strange
A Ranger came their Wedding-Day
He begged her to Arrange.
But, oh! the Scornful Maiden gave
Her Answer brief and tart:
"My Deer, whom Father died to save,
Possesses all my Heart!"
A Horrid Oath that Ranger took!
(He swore beneath his Breath).
"A Rival shall I tamely brook?
Morbleu! Carr-rramba! sdeath!
"Her Dear ! Gadzooks, I know the Man!
That lovelorn Guide shall die!"
And home the Ranger stalked, to plan
His Crime and Alibi.
That Night he watched beside her Cot;
The Bushes cracked and swayed;
Out rang the Deadly Rifle Shot!
Out rushed the Woeful Maid!
"Ah, Wasteful Hunter!" rose her Wails,
"To slay this Deer of mine,
All Out of Season, which entails
A Hundred-Dollar Fine!"
"Not so, not so, my Love, my Fair,"
The Ranger straight replied,
"For I (as Witnesses shall swear)
Mistook him for a Guide!
"Since I Mistook him for a Guide,
Miss, take me for your Dear!"
The Maiden blushed, the Maiden sighed,
The Maiden deigned to hear.
And when upon the Pair the Priest
Had said his Ben-i-son,
I grieve to say, their Wedding Feast
Was mainly Ven-i-son!
BY all the winds of Summer-time! I ll seek the
Who wakes the grass between the stones to move
the hearts of men,
Who blows a playful kiss or two of dandelion-
And sends the gipsy butterfly to lure a lad from
I m going to build a bungalow,
A bing-bang bungalow,
A creeper-curtained bungalow, where hemlocks
Fm going to build a bungalow,
A bing-bang .bungalow,
A cedar-shingled bungalow beside a mountain
The beams shall be of maple wood, the floors of
The spruce, with rough and resined bark, shall
wall this house of mine;
While round about, of ample breadth, a rustic
porch shall run
Below a birchen canopy against the checkered sun.
I m going to build a bungalow,
A bing-bang bungalow,
A forest-fragrant bungalow with room for three
I m going to build a bungalow,
A bing-bang bungalow,
A zephyr-haunted bungalow beside a rippled
With every quick-eyed featherling that loves the
With all the gentle furry folk I ll dwell in brother
My castle roof shall bear the proof of crystal-
And Peace shall be my seneschal, and Love my
I m going to build a bungalow,
A bing-bang bungalow,
An open-hearted bungalow devoid of bolts and
I m going to build a bungalow,
A bing-bang bungalow,
A tranquil little bungalow to rest beneath the
DORLAN S HOME-WALK
THE ninth; last half; the score was tied,
The Hour was big with Fate,
For Neal had fanned and Kling had flied
When Dorian toed the plate.
And every rooter drew a breath
And rose from where he sat,
For Weal or Woe, or Life or Death
Now hung on Dorian s bat.
The Pitcher scowled; the Pitcher flung
An inshoot, swift and queer;
But Dorian whirled his wagon-tongue
And smote the leathern sphere.
He smote the ball with might and main,
He drove it long and low,
And firstward like a railway train
He sped to beat the throw.
He reached first base with time to spare
(The throw went high and wide),
But what a tumult rent the air
When "Safe!" the Umpire cried.
"What!" shrieked the Pitcher, lean and tall,
"What!" roared the Catcher stout,
"Wha-at!" yelled the Basemen one and all,
"Ye re off! the man is out!"
The Shortstop swore, the Catcher pled,
They waved their arms around.
The Umpire shook his bullet-head
And sternly held his ground,
Though in the wild-eyed Fielders ran
To tear him limb from limb
Or else to tell that erring man
Just what they thought of him.
The Basemen left the bases clear
And came to urge their case;
So Dorian yawned and scratched his ear
And strolled to second base.
"Safe? Safe?" the Pitcher hissed, "Ye re blind!"
And breathed a Naughty Word;
While Dorian hitched his belt behind
And rambled on to third.
And throats were hoarse and words ran high
And lips were flecked with foam,
As Dorian scanned the azure sky
And ambled on toward home.
And still he heard in dreamy bliss,
As down the line he came,
The Umpire growl, "Enough o this!
He s safe. Now play the game!"
"All right. Come, boys," the Pitcher bawled;
"Two out; now make it three!"
When Dorian touched the plate and drawled,
"Hey! score that run fer me!"
What wrath was there, what bitter talk,
What joy and wild acclaim!
For Dorian s peaceful homeward walk
Had won the doubtful game.
Aye, thus the game was lost and won;
So, Athletes, great and small,
If like mischance ye fain would shun
Keep cool, don t kick, play ball.
BASEBALL IN DE PARK
THE Captain of the Neversweats was rooted in
One foot upon the tattered coat that served for
His ashen-hued habiliments were padded, hip
(The Captain of the Neversweats was all of three-
A mighty mitt incased his paw; he spat upon
And chirped, with shouted interludes, the Story
of the Game:
Twas Sattid y, a week ago, we played de Busy
Dey rung a borrered pitcher in, an say! he wuz
De way he handed pretzels out wuz putty near a
He chucked dis curly inshoot-drop dat fools ye
ev ry time.
He d held us down to forty hits, an* t ings wuz
Fer dey had fifty-seven runs, while we had t irty-
He d held us down to forty hits, an* runs wuz
But in de nint we sized im up an* pasted im
"Foist, Dumpy Collins found his coives an*
knocked a corkin fly;
Den Limpy picked a cracker jack an smashed it
in de eye;
Den Skeezicks hit de ball a swipe dat lifted off
An* Carrots ran de bags fer home, an* cricky!
how he slid!
Dem Bees wuz stiffs! dey couldn t t row, dey
couldn t ketch at all,
While we wuz playin fer our lives we couldn t
miss de ball.
"An did we win? Well, did we! Say! Dey
didn t git a smell.
We chased each udder roun de bags twuz
like de carrousel.
Why, w en we put de las man out an added up
Dey hadn t only eighty runs, an we had ninety-
What! Lick dese lobsters? Sure we kin, at
any time o year!
Jes watch; we ll show ye how it s done. Hi,
Cully! put er here!"
A NEW MEXICAN BO-PEEP
NEAR the Llano Estacado
Famed for deeds of wild bravado,
Winsome Maraquita Fancher,
Orphan child of Bill the rancher,
Led her flock of frisky muttons,
Fed the pretty woolly gluttons
Lamb and wether, ewe and chilver, 1
Clothed in fleeces bright as silver.
There she rambled, much respected,
Free as air and well protected
By her ram, a big Merino,
Widely known as "Filippino."
^irst appearance of the only rhyme for " silver " in cap
Wise he was; the world had schooled him;
Human nature "never fooled him.
Maraquita, most acutely,
Took his judgments ab-so-lutely.
Cesar Gil, a swart vaquero,
Quite the gallant caballero
(Though his legs were slightly bandy),
Rode across the Rio Grande,
Came a-courting Maraquita,
Praising her as "muy bonita!"
Humbly bowing, sweetly sighing
False, false vows of love undying.
Filippino left his grazing,
Turned and viewed the scene amazing;
Charged! and, headlong hurtling, fairly
Met the Issue full and squarely.
Cesar Gil, the dusky dandy,
Soared across the Rio Grande,
Rolling resonant " carr-rrambas !"
Still pursued by mocking lamb-baas.
So it chanced with other wooers
(False deceivers, base pursuers)
Claude Dulane the turquoise-digger,
Faro Pete the thimble-rigger,
Denbigh Booth the tragic mummer,
Curtis Sharpe the hardware drummer,
Ellis Farnham Walsh of Reno,
Came and fled from Filippino.
Now appeared a Handsome Stranger,
Rollo Jones, the Texas Ranger^
Bringing lots of love a heartful!
Brave and true, but gently artful.
First he talked to Filippino,
Talked of poker, whist, and keno,
Cattle, crime, and politicians,
Calming down the Ram s suspicions.
Next, as though to serenade him,
Lively, tuneful airs he played him,
Ragtime lilt and light fandango;
Showed him how they dance the tango.
Then he brought, with perfect breeding,
Little gifts of dainty feeding
(Since the grass was growing sparsely)
Carrots, turnips, beets, and parsley.
Thus the Ranger, true and clever,
Made that Ram his friend for ever.
Well, the rest was bound to follow:
Filippino, leading Rollo,
Trotted up to Maraquita.
Jones now calls her "mi lindita"
Or he did, as I remember,
When I saw them, last November,
Eating prime Thanksgiving turkey
At their home in Albuquerque.
THE MEXICAN HAMMOCK
TWAS richly vermilion and flagrantly yellow
When brought from the region of sunlit plateaus,
But, softened by service and restfully mellow,
It swings in the grove where the rivulet flows.
Its ring-bolts are tarnished, its spreaders unvar
It sags at an angle of forty degrees;
With reedles of balsam its meshes are garnished
The Mexican Hammock that hangs from the
The Mexican Hammock,
The grass-woven Hammock,
The trusty old Hammock
That droops from the trees.
When, sick of the city s perpetual riot,
I come for the healing that Silence bestows,
Overshadowed by green-tasseled curtains of quiet,
It offers a bounteous depth of repose.
So softly allaying and balmily swaying,
It woos with its motion the health-laden breeze
That soon down the River of Dreams I am stray
Adrift in the Hammock that hangs from the
The Mexican Hammock,
The grass-woven Hammock,
The friendly old Hammock
That droops from the trees.
Now crickets are hymning the Night for her
The dewdrops have solaced the half-opened rose.
How deeply it bends with a generous burden!
How sweet are the secrets that nobody knows!
The words that reveal them, the tokens that
The whispers more soft than the murmur of
The bird? shall not learn them, the winds may
not steal them
Away from the Hammock that hangs from the
The crafty old Hammock,
The blessed old Hammock,
The match-making Hammock
That droops from the trees.
A LAY OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY
THE world went well; the heavens smiled, com
On Massachusetts Bay and parts adjacent;
The Savages, arrayed in skins of beavers,
Had been removed by providential fevers;
The fields were flourishing, and e en the bearish
Allowed that trade and fisheries were fairish;
The Williamses, the Hutchinsons, the Quakers
And other contumacious trouble-makers,
Convinced by potent arguments, had vanished
(Imprisoned, whipped at cart-tail, hanged or
When Parson Bondish, strong in exhortation,
Arose to edify the congregation,
Beginning (not in total self-effacement)
With some few words of personal abasement.
"Dear Brothers/ quoth the Preacher, "in all
I come, a child of wrath and sin and weakness "
"Amen! that s true!" intoned a rash invader,
Defiance Cock, the surly Indian trader.
"Yea, here I stand," resumed the scowling
"A Thing of Naught, a miserable creature "
"Aye," growled the Trader, "ye were born and
Tis true as Gospel even if ye said so."
"A Worm am I!" the Parson thundered, banging
His oaken desk "A Wretch too bad for hanging!"
"Correct," cried Cock, despite impending fury,
"As I will gladly prove before a jury."
Good Bondish clenched both fists; a stout crusader,
He braved Defiance Cock, the Indian trader.
"When I," he blared, "self-humbled, would have
Of Pride of Flesh, thou venturest to beard me?
"I own my faults, I hope to rise above them
But no one else shall dare to tell me of them!"
Whereat, the Parson rapidly descended
And then and there the controversy ended,
Stern Bondish preaching hours, unrelenting,
At Cock within the pillory, repenting.
And this is why I dare not tell my story
For Boston might not think it laudatory;
And why I ll ever strive to be complacent
Toward Massachusetts Bay and parts adjacent.
THE PILGRIMS THANKSGIVING FEAST
THE Pilgrims landed, worthy men,
And, saved from wreck on raging seas,
They fell upon their knees, and then
Upon the Aborigines.
In thankfulness they planned a feast
On all the country might afford.
(The grace consumed an hour at least,
Whence rose the phrase, "The festive bored.")
And some through groves of pine and oak
Pursued the doe; and even so
All patriotic Yankee folk
Unceasingly pursue the dough.
They bearded bruin in his lair
Or stalked the stag in forests drear.
Alas! their festal dish was bear,
Or venison though that was deer.
Still, native viands pleased them most
The native maize, for that was new;
They ate the native boiled and roast
And even ate the native stew!
ANOTHER fowl had gone the way
That turkeys go, Thanksgiving Day;
In ruins lay the pumpkin pie,
The foaming cider-jug was dry.
The merry guests had left their chairs,
The old in groups, the young in pairs,
And Mark and Prue (if one might look)
Were safe within the ingle-nook.
And Mark and Prue agreed to break
A wishbone, just for friendship s sake
A wishbone, smooth and polished bright
As best befits the magic rite.
Each wished a wish in undertone;
With thumbs close-pressed they snapped the bone
And none but Mark heard Prudence laugh
Because she held the larger half;
And only Prudence knew how dark
And hopeless grew the face of Mark.
"Why, Mark!" cried Prue; "since Time began
Who ever saw a six-foot man
"Become so glum and vaporish
Because he d lost a silly wish!"
"Yes, laugh!" groaned Mark, "for you have won I
Pve lost all joy beneath the sun
"And all the hope I had in life
I wished that Prue should be my wife."
She frowned, and then she smiled instead,
And then she tossed her curly head
And laughed outright, that shameless Prue,
"Oh, never mind! I wished that, too!"
A TRUE BILL AGAYNST CHRISTMASSE
I WILL not hear of Christmasse Cheer
Nor Christmasse Bells a-ringing!
A Christmasse Tree I loathe to see,
I m deaf to Carol-singing.
I will not troll ye Wassail Bowl!
I love no strong Potations,
Nor Yule that brings ye Gatherings
Of Nondescript Relations.
Forbeare to show ye Mistletoe!
All Proper Men disdain it;
Ye Prettie Maid wolde scorn its Aid,
Ye Plaine One sholde not gain it.
Give Pause, give Pause to Santa Claus!
His Course is trulie shocking;
I understand he has a Hande
In Everybodie s Stocking!
Yet, void of Shame, they praise his Name
In Reams of idle Verses,
And call him kind that leaves behind
A Trail of emptie Purses.
Sharp Sorrows lie in Christmasse Pie
Which treble when they heat it.
I have no Use for Christmasse Goose
Nor Cannibals that eat it.
For Ills and Pills and Doctor s Bills
Are scarce a Cause for Laughter;
Ye Tables groan before ye Feaste,
Ye Feasters groan thereafter.
I SING of Pieter Dundervelt
In quaint New Amsterdam who dwelt
And loved a maid in beauty s bloom
Annette DeVries von Schlagenboom.
Like all true lovers, more or less.
Our Piet inclined to bashfulness,
And when he should have pressed his suit
Was silent, speechless, dumb, and mute.
Twas drawing near that night of nights
When good Saint Nicholas delights
To ride with gifts for old and young,
When backward Pieter found his tongue.
Oh, will you deign, Annette," said he,
To take a Yuletide gift from me?"
Annette, without a thought of ill,
Replied, in Dutch, "Of course I will!"
Saint Nicholas with reindeer sleigh
Had made his rounds and gone his way,
And fair Annette, while others slept,
On tiptoe down the stairway crept
Before the dawn, her only thought
To see what gifts the Saint had brought.
And there a marvel met her eyes!
A stocking, not of common size,
But six feet long and even more
Now hung where hers had hung before,
Beneath the kitchen mantel-shelf,
And snug within was Piet himself!
The situation seemed absurd;
Annette, however, kept her word;
That is, to make the tale complete,
She took her gift and married Piet.
A BRIDGE SCANDAL
UPON the table s cloth of green
The Trey of Diamonds lay;
It lured the Knave; he loved the Queen;
For her he took the Trey.
To him the Queen "of Diamonds said,
"Make haste, my darling Jack,
And fly with me!" And off they fled
In spite of all the Pack.
The King pursued; alert and quick,
He slew them with his mace!
And that s the way he turned the Trick,
For no one held the Ace!
HENRY HUDSON S LOG
WEE anchored safe in Fathoms four
Within a Baye, and did espie
A pleasaunt, many-peopled Shore
With Lodges most amazing hie,
From where some Natives, partlie tamed,
Did come in Shallops nine or ten
To make us Speeches these were named
"Ye Sons-in-Lawe of Famous Men."
Ashore wee went, and soon a Band
Appeared, bedecked with Silver Starres,
Which called themselves, I understand,
"Ye Sons of Them Which Fitt in Warres."
Another Tribe did entertaine
Our Tars at Meat within an Halle,
And they were hight, "Ye Noble Straine
Of Them Which Came Here First of Alle!"
Their Womankind in Bevies Twain
Did make us Cheere with Daunce and Song,
But eyther Group in hie Disdain
Did scorn ye other Lovelie Throng;
Yea, each called other, " Sycophants "
And "Upstarte Crewe!" Their Rightful Names
Were "Nieces of Ancestral Aunts,"
And "Daughters of Maternal Dames."
Ye "Sons of Irish Pioneers,"
Ye "Native Sons of Foreign Kynges,"
Ye "Sons of Hessian Grenadiers,"
And Sundrie Sons of Other Thynges
About us raised a Goodlie Stir.
A Modest Folk they seemed to mee,
More Vaine of what their Fathers were
Than Proud of what theirselves might bee.
Yet more were there too Low to wear
Grand Coats-of-Arms or courtlie Masks
An Hoste which found no Time to spare
But stronglie toiled at many Tasks.
I craved of One of Sturdie Mold,
"What Sons bee ye?" With Merrie Face,
"No Sons !" he cried; "in us behold
Ye Fathers of ye Coming Race!"
WHEN tree-toads trill and crickets chirr
And all the marshlands faintly ring,
A Goblin flits through plumes of fir
Upon the wood-owl s velvet wing;
He fills with fern-seed, brown and dry,
His acorn pipe; when winds are whist
He lights it with a fire-fly
And hillward blows the evening mist.
A PERSIAN APOLOGUE
To Hakim Ali, famed for potent pills,
Old Hassan came to tell his body s ills
Began the Patient: "First, O Hakim wise,
I note a certain dimness of the eyes "
"A trifle!" laughed the Doctor; "I ll engage
Tis merely a Concomitant of Age."
"Besides," groaned Hassan, "as it seems to me,
My hearing is not all it used to be."
"Some little touch of deafness," quoth the Sage,
"Is likewise a Concomitant of Age."
"But," quavered Hassan, "Doctor, is it right
That Wakefulness should worry me at night?"
"Quite natural," said Ali, "at this stage;
A usual Concomitant of Age."
Then Hassan stormed: "Oh, quack, impostor, dolt,
With no more learning than my donkey s colt!
"I tell my griefs, and, like a parrot gray,
Concomitant of Age* is all you say!"
"Ah!" smiled the Doctor; "sudden, causeless rage
Is likewise a Concomitant of Age."
THE Sultan was vexed by a dream
that invaded his slumbers;
(He d feasted on lobsters and cream
with half-ripened cucumbers
And slept with his head to the South,
so the Night Mare had power.)
He dreamed, all the teeth of his mouth
tumbled out in a shower!
So, calling a Sayer of Sooth
to interpret the vision,
He charged him to utter the truth
with the utmost precision.
"Pure Fountain of Justice, and Fear
of the Infidel Foemen,
The vision," propounded the Seer,
"is of sorrowful omen;
For Allah, who governs this ball
(His protection be o er you!),
Decrees that your relatives all
shall drop dead, right before you!"
The Sultan leaped up in a fit
of devouring fury!
He stayed not to issue a writ
or impanel a jury,
But "Shorten this fellow !" he said,
"and be rapid about it!"
So off went the Soothsayer s head!
(He looked better without it.)
One Sage being worthless, they sent
to the mosque for another;
An Augur of wilier bent
than his ill-fortuned brother.
"Now Allah be praised for the boon!"
cried this wisest of mages;
"Great Lord of the Sun and the Moon!
for the vision presages
Long life to the King, who shall thrive
like the fertile plantations!
Yea, truly! my Liege shall survive
e en his youngest relations!"
The King, as his visage expressed,
was rejoiced beyond measure.
The Prophet went home with a chest
fairly bursting with treasure.
Which proves tis an axiom still,
let the Blunt-spoken weigh it-
The Tactful can say what he will,
for he knows how to say it!
"GREAT king," the poet cried, his rebec stringing,
"Thy name shall live forever through my sing
"Poor fool," the king replied, "that lie is hoary;
Thy songs may live because they chant my
So each, the sword or lyre glorifying,
In turn proclaimed his work alone undying;
And while their wordy warfare shook the rafter,
Old Time stood by and held his sides for laughter!
THE Farmer was swinging his scythe with a will,
His Donkey was turning the primitive mill;
The Learned Logician of Lalli-Bazan
Stood watching the labors of Donkey and Man.
"My friend," quoth the Solver of Tangled Affairs,
"What use is the bell that your Animal wears?"
"Why," answered the Farmer, "it tells on the
It rings while he moves, when he stops it is mute;
"And so, though I m acres away at my work,
I ll know if the gray-coated Scamp is a shirk."
"Right well!" cried the Sage; "but supposing, in
Of working, your Donkey just waggled his head:
"The bell would still ring like a steeple possessed,
Yet how would you know he was taking a rest?"
The Farmer looked hard at the Sage (it appears
Suspecting the length of his logical ears),
Then answered him, giving his Servant a slap,
" This Donkey has never learned Logic! Gid-dap!"
A HINDU RIDDLE
"WHAT fruit is good to taste when green,
And sweet when half-matured by Time,
Yet harsh when ripe? Declare, O Sage!"
"That fruit is Human Life, I ween:
So rich in Youth; in Manhood s prime
More mellow still but dry in Age!"
THE IRREVERENT BRAHMIN
A HINDU TRACT
A BRAHMIN, fat and debonair,
Denied the Potency of Prayer!
"Absurd!" he scoffed, "to say that Gods
At ease on high would stoop to Clods
"And heed our million warring Prayers
To regulate our small Affairs!"
This Dogmatist of early days
Was lost within a jungle s maze,
Where, wildly ranging wide about
To find a pathway leading out,
Upon a Forest Codling s Shrine
He chanced, o erhung with leaf and vine,
And wonder! horror! crouching there
A mighty Tiger, bowed in prayer!
(Tail curled, as may be well supposed,
Paws folded, eyes devoutly closed).
"Strong God," he heard the Tiger say,
"I pray thee, send to me a Prey!"
The trustful Tiger closed his Prayer.
Behold! a Brahmin trembling there!
The Brahmin never scoffed a whit.
The Prayer had Answer #<? was It.
(FROM THE HINDUSTANI)
FOR Bread the Merchant labors long and late.
For Bread the Beggar goes from gate to gate.
For Bread the Sailor loses hearth and home;
A thousand miles away, Bread-seekers roam.
For Bread the Wild Birds fall in nets and gins.
For Bread do Men commit a thousand sins.
For Bread the Soldier dies in siege or fray.
For Bread the Minstrel carols, night and day.
For Bread Men study all that Man may know.
The House that wanteth Bread is filled with Woe.
Tis Bread unites the Family as one;
Its lack divides the Father from the Son.
For Bread are Weddings made and Sermons said;
Of all good things, the very best is Bread.
THE STONE S JOKE
ON Guernsey s Island, huge, alone,
Before a cavern lay a Stone;
Upon its surface carved, a screed
In characters that none could read.
At length a Stranger climbed the cliff,
A Sage, in rune and hieroglyph
Well schooled. He bent his learned head
Above the Stone, and thus he read:
"Come, turn me, turn me, Man of Might,
And see what now is hid from sight!"
They came with lever, jack, and chain;
They heaved and hauled with might and main;
They plied the mass with rope and crow
To find the Treasure hid below.
The great Stone turned. Its mottled, pied
And soil-discolored under side
Another runic legend bore;
And thus the Scholar read once more:
"O Gentle Friend, for many a year
On one poor side I ve languished here
"And begged the boon for which I ve yearned
That some one turn me. Thanks. I m turned."
THE BEST AND WORST NAIL IN THE ARK
Now this is the story (and all of ye hark!)
Of what was the Best and Worst Nail in the
When Noah was building this Ark, as ye know,
A rumble of thunder surprised him, and so
To have the boat ready in time for the rain
He took on a Wright of. the Children of Cain
A terrible sinner, like all of the rest,
And still, as a Carpenter, one of the best.
This Person was hammering hard at the stem
When up strolls the Patriarch, Japheth, and
And what does that impudent Carpenter do
But ask to be taken as one of the crew.
Sez he, "I am wishful to sail in yer boat
Along with yer Elephant, Camel, and Goat."
But Noah he answers him, "None of yer jokes!
Ye ll stay in the wet with the rest of yer folks!"
The Carpenter grinned and the Carpenter laughed;
He watched till the Party was all of them aft,
Then screwed up one eyebrow and twisted his lip
And pulled a big nail from the bow of the Ship!
He pulled out a Nail, did that Offspring of Sin,
Which left a fine hole for the tide to creep in.
Now, up comes the Animals, marching in pairs,
And with them the Devil sneaks in unawares,
They say with the Mule, for she hadn t a mate,
And hides in the hold with the rest of the freight.
But whist! when the waters were boiling around
And rocking the Ark from her place on the
Old Noah stood up while the elements roared
And asked a strong Blessing on all things aboard.
Now Blessings, for cause that I needn t explain,
Are what the old Devil can t hear without pain;
And so the poor Devil tore wildly about
Prospecting in vain for a place to get out,
When what should he spy, when of reason
But that one fine hole that the Carpenter left!
He altered his form to the shape of a Worm
And right through that nail-hole he tried for to
But, talk as they do of the Devil s own luck,
As tight as a rivet the poor Devil stuck!
He stuck and he stayed for the whole of the trip
Excluding the wet from the hold of the Ship.
The waters might heave and the waters might roll,
But still the poor Devil kept plugging that hole
And saving them all from the wave and the shark,
So he was the Best and Worst Nail in the Ark!
WHAT THE DEVIL SAID TO NOAH
THE world was badly scared;
The very heavens trembled;
The Ark was all prepared,
The beasts were all assembled
And driven safe within
By Noah s sons and daughters,
When lo! the Lord of Sin
Appeared upon the waters;
A gallant privateer,
He sailed a Malay proa:
"I think it s gwine to clear!"
The Devil said to Noah.
We know that things are wrong,
We strive to make them better;
Perhaps I write a song,
Perhaps you write a letter,
Perhaps we work like men
To push a worthy movement
8 [ 103 ]
When up he pops again,
That Foe to All Improvement,
And, smiling on the Deer
(But winking at the Boa)
"Aw, shucks! it s gwine to clear!"
The Devil coos to Noah.
A is the Amiable Actress,
The lobster-cafe s benefactress.
B is the Bibulous Bounder
Who likes to be classed as a rounder.
C is the Curious Corkscrew
The favorite tool of New York s crew.
D is the Diligent Driver
Who will not take less than a fiver.
E is the Erring Elmiran
About to be fleeced by a siren.
F is the Fellow from Corning
Who will not go home until morning.
G is the Gimlet-eyed Gambler
In wait for the night-blooming rambler.
H is the Hefty Housebreaker
Disguised as a peaceable Quaker.
I is the igh-C Italian,
With hair a la Richard Le Gallienne;
J is the Jollification
His boosters will term "an Ovation."
K is a Kelt from Killarney
Who borrows a dollar on blarney.
L is the Lantern-jawed Loafer
Whom Croesus addresses as "Shoafer!"
M is the Moonbeam so Mellow
That shines on the girl and her fellow.
N is the Nebulous Night-time
By true lovers hailed as the right time.
O is the One Osculation
That earns them the prude s reprobation.
P is the Penitent s Pillow
That feels like a hot armadillo;
Q is his Querulous Query,
"Oh, why did I gamble in Erie?"
R is the Rabid Reporter
Whose story was edited shorter.
S is the Sinful Suggestion
That slumber is out of the question.
T s for the Turbulent Taxis
That swiftly rotate on their axes.
U is the Uniformed Usher
Ejecting the lingering lusher.
V is the Voice of the Victim
Condemning the caitiff who kicked him.
W stands for the White Way
The Tight Way, yet scarce the Polite Way.
X is the sum that Xpresses
The fine for Xtatic Xcesses.
Y is the Yelling of Yellows
By newsboys with lungs that are bellows.
Z is the Zebra so frisky
Evoked by libations of whisky.
THIS IS SHE
ON order that must be obeyed
I sing of a dear little maid;
A mirthfully serious,
And first we ll consider her eyes
(Alike as to color and size);
Her winkable, blinkable,
Then, having a moment to spare,
We turn our attention to hair;
Forbear to dismiss with a shrug
Her nose, undeniably pug;
Her strictly permissible,
Now, moving a point to the south,
We come to an Actual Mouth;
A coral, pearliferous,
Observe, underneath it, a chin,
Connoting the dimple within;
A steady, reliable,
By all that is fair! it appears
We d almost forgotten her ears!
Those never neglectable,
And last let us speak of herself,
That blithe little gipsy and elf,
Her quite unignorable,
THE LASSES O LINTON
THE lasses o Linton ha flocked to the fair,
Wi gowd on their bosoms an silk in their hair,
Wi ribbons an laces sae winsomely drest,
An each in the color that fits her the best.
There s Meg, the fause jilt! wi her eyes on the
Ye ll ne er fin a heart neath the corn-yellow gown.
While Maisie, whose Robin proves faithless, puir
Comes clad in a kirtle as green as the grass.
But Jeanie, my Jeanie, beloved an true,
S all never wear aught save the heaven s ain blue;
"For green is forsaken, an yellow s forsworn,
But blue is the bonniest color that s worn."
FAIR Eve devised a walking-suit
Of jungle grasses, soft and crimpy;
She thought it rather neat and cute
Till Adam grunted, "Pretty skimpy!"
A cloak of palm-leaves, sought for miles,
She made, and came to be admired;
But Adam said, "The silly styles
You women wear just make me tired!"
She built herself a little hat
Of lilies (Eve was very clever),
And asked him what he thought of that?
And Adam blurted, "Well, I never!"
So next she placed upon her head
A feathered three-by-four Creation.
The little word that Adam said
Is barred from parlor conversation.
Yet Eve refused to be a dowd,
And tied an autumn-tinted sash on.
"I ll dress to please myself!" she vowed,
"For what does Adam know of fashion?
"What use to seek applause from him?
He scoffs and says I cannot reason!
Well, then, my law shall be my whim
And that shall change with every season."
Since when, revolving cycles bring
The gayest fashions and the queerest;
And Eve declares, "It s just the thing!"
While Adam murmurs, "Is it, dearest?"
THE WIND MAIDEN
HER lips, like roses empearled,
Gave forth a rill of laughter;
She brought the joy of the world
Of this and that hereafter.
So free that magical art
Alone would serve to bind her,
She danced right into my heart
And locked the door behind her!
A SKETCH FROM THE LIFE
ITS eyes are gray;
Its hair is either brown
And, strange to say,
Its dresses button down
It wears a plume
That loves to frisk around
It crowds the room
With cushions in a mound
Old rugs and lamps
In corners a la Turque
It steals my stamps,
And when I want to work
It rides and skates
But then it comes and fills
With plaques and plates
And keeps me paying bills
It s firm; and if
I should my many woes
Twould only sniff
And perk its little nose
It s bright, though small;
Its name, you may have guessed,
But, after all,
It gives a wondrous zest
A WHOLE DAY!
FIVE hundred thousand leagues, I guess,
Our weary Earth has bowled through space;
And fifty thousand miles, no less,
The pallid Moon has held her race;
The careful Clock has ticked away
Full eighty thousand moments drear;
So long has been the lagging Day
Since last I saw you, Vida dear!
HER sister brought the wife a feather
A curled, Parisian thing of beauty
(And Uncle Sam may answer whether
He did or did not get the duty).
The feather had to have a hat
To wreathe itself upon, I take it;
For twenty dollars (cheap at that!)
Madame O Malley deigned to make it.
So fine a hat is simply lost
Without a proper coat below it.
The coat, with all its fixings, cost
Say, ninety more at least I owe it.
The coat was scarcely warm enough
(A stylish cloth is rarely weighty);
But, after all, the stole and muff
Were hardly very dear at eighty.
And then a gown and shoes and things
Here! add the bills, ye household scholars!
That little feather plumed the wings
Of pretty near three hundred dollars!
A straw may break the camel s back;
How might a feather overtax him!
I never knew before, alack,
The truth within that shop-worn maxim!
Yet, oh, for all this traitor writes,
The wealth of all the stores together
Was never worth one smile that lights
The dimpling face beneath the feather!
THE COUNTRY DANCE
TREAD of the thistledown
Lighting on heather,
Curls in a dancing crown
Bursting their tether,
Laugh of a bobolink
Swaying on rushes,
Breath of the meadow-pink
Born of her blushes,
Free as a swallow dips,
Moving to viol-tones,
Over the mead she trips,
Men s hearts her stepping-stones.
THE ORGAN-GRINDER LADY AND THE
HER cheeks were Roman roses, and her deep,
Were dark as limpid Como when the moon be
gins to rise;
A crimson kerchief crowned the silken midnight
of her hair;
Her buxom little bodice was a heart-alluring
A laughing little, daffing little, merry gipsy queen,
She challenged forth your pennies with her tin
What pocketbook resisted when her organ sang
Of Marguerite or Lucia, or the fun of Figaro!
What pulse but leaped the faster at the strains
And swinging, Old World waltzes that the ball
room hears no more!
So, hailed by children s laughter and the pat of
The Organ-Grinder Lady came in music down
With trundle-wheel and trumpet and the clamor
of his clan,
Along the flinty pavement came the Scissors-
A yellow-headed laddie, and his cheeks were as
His eyes as blue and dancing as the water of the
He trolled a Saxon ballad as he ground the shear
Delighting gaping urchins with the sparkles of
And pleasantly and mirthfully he bobbed his
head, to greet
The Organ-Grinder Lady as she halted in the street;
Then, since there s lack of honesty in being over-
That Organ-Grinder Lady nodded blithely back
He set his wheel a-humming, by the way of sere
She let her organ answer and the "Wedding
March" it played!
Belike a roll of magic ran around the music-reel;
Perchance the dainty bodice caught a sparkle
from the wheel;
For, when the streets were twinkling with the
lights of eventide,
The organ and the trundle-wheel rolled slowly,
side by side,
Until, along the river where the great ships come
The Lady and the Laddie watched the starlight,
hand in hand.
And now in wedding-jacket and a black and
They trudge their rounds together through the
mazes of the town.
She makes his toil the lighter with the organ s
He makes the street the brighter with the sparkles
of the wheel;
And thus they give each other and their world
the best they can
The Organ-Grinder Lady and the Scissors-Grinder
A GREEK SONG
IT was not I that dared betray
What none should know but you and me;
The moon beheld from heaven s way
And told the tale to all the sea.
The ripples laughed in elvish joy
And told the oar-blade, water-pearled;
The oar-blade told the fisher-boy,
Who sang our love to all the world!
THE GROCERY BOY
Now what should I do when the Grocery Boy
Is knockin an* whistlin an 5 calling "Ahoy!"
An me with both hands of me covered with suds
A-cleanin the panes in me oldest of duds!
" Come down !" sez he, laughin . Sez I, " Ye can wait !
An* what are ye meanin by comin so late?"
"Ah, come!" sez he, coaxin ; "I tell ye no lies,
But all the pertaties have tears in their eyes
Because of the coldness of maids in these parts.
The onions are breakin* their poor little hearts;
The beans an the leeks an the parsley are green
With longin for some one ye know whom I mean;
An see the young radishes blushin all red,
An look how the cabbage is hangin its head!
Then don t ye be haughty an don t ye be cruel,
But open the gate, now, an take them, me jewel!"
Now what would ye do with a saucy young limb
Of a Grocery Boy that can blarney like him?
A SONG FOR SILVIUS
THE Pleiads are six and the planets are eight,
But one little star is the Pole of my fate.
Five continents broaden and seven seas foam,
But only one spot in creation is Home.
The Graces are three, while the Muses are nine;
There s only one Phoebe, and Phoebe is mine!
THE PASSIONATE SUBURBANITE
TO HIS LOVE
COMMUTE with me, Love, and be merry;
How vain in the City to dwell
When apple-trees blow in Dobbs Ferry
And lilacs adorn New Rochelle!
White Plains is the Garden of Allah
And Pelham s the Pearl of the Sea;
There s bliss in the name of Valhalla
Oh, fly to the Suburbs with me!
Then won t you commute on my family ticket?
To Westchester County we ll flee.
What place is sequester!
Oh, won t you commute, Love, with me?
I ll pluck you the earliest crocus
In Orange or Englewood fair;
We ll sport on the meads of Hohokus,
We ll ramble through Cultured Montclair;
We ll rest in Exclusive Tuxedo,
Or Nutley, for artists renowned,
And still shall I carol my credo,
"The Suburbs are Paradise Found."
Then won t you commute on my family ticket?
Perhaps you prefer New Jersee ,
For who could grow weary
Of life on the Erie!
Then won t you commute, Love, with me?
The Isle twixt the Sound and the Ocean
Ah, has it no Message for you?
I cannot but think with emotion
Of Flushing, Jamaica, and Kew,
Of Bayshore of youthful vacations,
Of Little Neck, Great Neck, and Quogue
And all of the other Clam Stations
Including Speonk and Patchogue.
Then come take a trip on my family ticket
Where Long Island breezes blow free.
To live on the Subway
Is surely a dub way,
Then fly to the Suburbs with me!
OUR Garden Spot is always bright and pretty
(Of course it s rather soggy when it rains),
And only thirty minutes from the city
(Of course you have to catch the proper
We re through with Grasping Landlords, rents,
(Of course there s still a mortgage debt to
At last we know what True Domestic Peace is
(Of course you can t compel a cook to stay).
Our Little Home is always nice and cozy
(Of course the furnace needs a lot of care).
The country keeps the children fresh and rosy
(Of course the schools are only middling fair).
The Country Club is glorious on Sunday
(Of course it s overcrowded now and then).
We see a play on Broadway every Monday
(Of course we have to leave at half past ten).
It s lovely having grass and trees and flowers
(Of course, at times, mosquitoes are a pest),
Yes, life is life out here in Rangeley Towers
(Of course Some People like the city best)!
IT goes beneath a checkered arch
Of leaf and sunlight, oak and larch;
Athwart a mead of meadow-sweet,
A field of lily-bordered wheat;
Through groves of bridal birch it turns,
And mossy hollows, deep in ferns;
Then up a hill and down a glen,
From Nowhere out and back again;
And many feet have worn it plain
That errant way of Lovers Lane.
There, unafraid, the wood-folk play;
There wanton briers dip and sway
To catch and keep whatever comes
And make much work for clumsy thumbs
Of loosing tress and lacing shoe
Such tasks as lovers love to do.
Of tales there told with eye or tongue
I need not tell if ye were young
Nor yet of castles reared in Spain
By architects of Lovers Lane.
If Lovers Lane ye wander through,
That roadway s rule is "two by two,"
Although the path is wondrous strait;
For here s a hedge, and there s a gate,
A brook, a stile, a quaking moss,
The strong must help the weak to cross;
Then, deep in shade ere set of sun,
Its dells are never safe for one
Still (must the sorry truth be known?)
In Lovers Lane I walk alone!
TWIST-RHYME ON WOMEN
SOME women walk in hobble skirts
While others sew and cobble shirts.
Equipped with pan for cake, and book,
The prudent learn to bake and cook;
Though many, seaward hurling care,
Devote their time to curling hair.
Yet all, though coyly seeming chill,
For simple youths are scheming ill;
With every eye-glance mangling ten,
They weave their webs for tangling men.
BEFORE your gate from dawn to late
The cheery postman whistles;
And every mail augments the tale
Of amorous epistles
That jingle "heart" with "part" and "dart, 5
Nor fail to mention Cupid;
That rhyme "above" and "love" and "dove 3
And other things as stupid.
I pray you, spurn those lines that burn,
Despite their foolish pleading.
To flame consign each Valentine
Except the one you re reading.
And scorn the host that sent per post
Those missives, poor and shoddy.
"They love you, too?" Of course they do!
For so does everybody!
But, just as sure as snows are pure
And shoes are made of leather,
I do adore and love you more
Than all the rest together!
A BILL FROM CUPID
THIS Day of good Saint Valentine,
Chateau de Psyche,
Miss Arabella Lovibond, 600 Lovers Lane,
For Merchandise detailed below, to Daniel Cupid,
To 7,000 Compliments, conveyed per Tongue or
To 50 Cases Deathless Love, expressed per Burn
To 20 Cases (like above), expressed per Melting
To 1 8 dozen Fervent Vows, despatched per mail
To 1 8 dozen Flaming Hearts, irreparably broken;
To Passage 6 Despairing Swains en route to
To 14 Arrows, snapped and spoiled on 14 Flinty
To 15 Locks of Human Hair (black, yellow,
brown, and sandy);
To 37 hundredweight of Tributary Candy;
To 40 Rides in Runabouts and 90 Auto Spins;
To 8 Disused Engagement Rings and 19 College
To 60 Bales of Violets and Roses (out of season) ;
Oh, well, for these and other things beyond all
Rhyme and Reason,
Please pay, to Francis Happychap, my Agent, on
In Settlement of Claims, in full: I Vow, I Heart,
THE RAG DOLLY S VALENTINE
THOUGH others think I stare with eyes unseeing,
I ve loved you, Mistress mine, so dear to me,
With all my fervent rag-and-sawdust being
Since first you took me from the Christmas
I love you though my only frock you tear ofF;
I love you though you smear my face at meals;
I love you though you ve washed my painted
I love you when you drag me by the heels;
I love you though you ve sewed three buttons on
But most I love you when you sit upon me.
No jealous pang shall mar my pure affection;
For, while tis true your heart I m forced to
With that Wax Doll of pink-and-white complexion,
The Pussy Cat, the Lamb and Teddy Bear,
Tis mine alone, whate er the time or place is>
To know your every grief and each delight;
I feel your childish wrath and warm embraces,
I share your little pillow every night.
And so, without another why or whether,
I ll love you while my stitches hold together!
FM only a Gargoyle attached to a church,
As ugly a Gargoyle as ever was known;
I lean from my Gothic, aerial perch
To gaze on that glorious vision in stone,
The fair Caryatid just over the street
Enthroned on a pillar of porphyry red,
So mild of demeanor, so patient and sweet,
Though seventeen stories are heaped on her head !
I envy the wind that may speak to my love,
The raindrop that plashes her cheek like a tear,
The cobweb that covers her hand like a glove,
The sparrow that builds in the curve of her ear.
I would I might woo her with passionate rhymes;
But here is my duty, and here must I stay
To guard the high steeple s reverberant chimes
And frighten all frolicsome goblins away.
A BOY AND A PUP
THE Boy wears a grin,
A scratch on his chin,
A wind-rumpled thatch,
A visible patch,
A cheek like a rose,
A frecklesome nose.
The Pup, though he may
Be tawny as hay,
Is blithe as a song;
He gambols along
And waves to each friend
A wagglesome end.
With whistle and bark
They re off for a lark;
According to whim,
A hunt or a swim,
A tramp or a run
Or any old fun.
They don t care a jot
If school keeps or not,
When anything s up,
The Boy and the Pup,-
That duo of joy,
A Pup and a Boy!
TRUE Cherubs never run in Debt
Because of Clothes and Things,
For, like some Chickens I have met,
They re built of Heads and Wings.
And Scientific Pens and Tongues
Have made it very clear
That Cherubs, since they can t have Lungs
Must always Sing by Ear.
But none of them, tis understood,
Will play a Naughty Prank;
And this is good, because they would
Be Difficult to Spank.
You see, we three,
Fred, Joe, and me,
When I "hullo!"
To Fred and Joe
Most every day
We go and play
If I ve a bun
And they has none,
We all can slide;
And Fred can ride
And make a kite!
I think a sight
And Joey, too;
He helps us do
Because, you see,
Joe, Fred, and me
A STRIKE IN FAIRYLAND
THERE S terrible trouble in Fairyland,
I hear from a humming-bird fresh from the border,
The impudent sprites of that airy strand
Refusing to follow the good old order.
The elves have deserted both field and glade
"So tired of tending the thankless flowers!"
The gnomes have abandoned the pick and spade,
Demanding more wages and shorter hours.
The nixes and mermaids have swum ashore;
"The waters are damp, chill, and uninviting."
The witches will dwell in the woods no more;
Apartments they want, with electric lighting.
The monarchs are throwing their scepters down;
"It s wearisome work, this eternal reigning!"
The queens push their honey aside, and frown,
And all through the palaces there s complaining.
The royal-born youths of the golden clime
Play football and hockey, and each professes
The utmost aversion to wasting time
In rescuing maidens with golden tresses.
And the maidens deplorable taste evince;
Her nose in the air, each vows, defiant,
That sooner than mate with a stupid prince
She d marry an ogre or lovely giant!
While the dragon roars from his gloomy hall
(And, oh, it isn t a theme for laughter!):
"I ve swallowed the princess, crown and all,
And I m to "live happily ever after. "
STAND firm, gray Rock!
Tough-weathered Beams, hold fast!
Stanch Walls, proud Roof,
Repel the warring Blast!
Glow warm, deep Hearth,
Against the Winter s Chill;
Clear Flame of Love,
Burn brighter, warmer still!
WHY TIGERS CANT CLIMB
THE tale is of the Tiger and his Aunt, who is the
They dwelt among the jungles in the shade of
The Cat was very clever, but the Tiger, he was slow;
He couldn t catch the Nilghau nor the heavy
His claws were long and pointed, but his wit was
short and blunt;
He begged his Wise Relation to instruct him how
The Cat on velvet pattens stole along the quiet hill:
"Now this," she whispered, "Nephew, is the way
to stalk your Kill."
The Cat drew up her haunches on the mossy for
"And this," she said, "my Nephew, is the proper
way to crouch."
She hurtled through the shadows like a missile
from a sling:
"And that, my loving Nephew, is the only way
Oh, hungry was the Nephew, and the Aunt was
sleek and plump;
The Tiger at his Teacher made his first appren
He did it very ably, but the Cat, more quick
Escaped his clutching talons and ran up a cedar-
And purred upon the Snarler from the bough on
which she sat,
"How glad I am, my Nephew, that I didn t teach
And, since that Curtailed Lesson in the Rudiments
The most ambitious Tiger hasn t learned the
way to climb.
WHERE beeches shade the pasture gate,
When nights grow short and days grow long,
The wood-dove woos his modest mate,
And this is all his wooing song:
" Curr-a-hoo, curr-a-hoo !
You love me and I love you."
But wedded life is full of care.
Through all the sunny afternoon
They vainly strive, that shiftless pair,
To build their nest, while thus they croon:
Two sticks across, and a little bit of moss,
And that will have to do, do, do!"
When last I wandered down the lane
The little mother, all intent
To feed her greedy nestlings twain,
Was pouring forth a sad lament:
"Coo-a-roo! What shall I do?
I cannot feed my hungry Two,
Though the little red Wren
Can bring up ten
And rear them all like gentlemen!"
THERE lives a little Mina on the hills of Hindustan,
The most conceited Mina of his most conceited clan.
A cowry-shell he treasures, for a cowry may be
As money; in the market it s a hundredth of a cent.
"I m rich!" the Mina caroled just as loud as he
"I m richer than the Rajah!" (And a Rajah is
The Rajah was offended by this most insulting lay;
He ordered out his Army and they took the shell
"The Rajah must be hungry!" sang the Mina;
"don t you see?
The Rajah took my cowry, for the Rajah envied me !"
The Rajah wasn t ready for this method of attack;
He disciplined his Army and they gave the cowry
"I m greater," sang the Mina, than the mightiest
I forced the haughty Rajah to restore my wealth
The Rajah sat and pondered on his gold-incrusted
"I think," said he, "my Councilors, we ll leave
that Bird alone.
"He s rather prone to boastfulness, his voice is
void of charm,
He lacks a Sense of Humor, but he can t do any
So still the Mina magnifies his grandeur every
Which makes him very happy and the Rajah
doesn t care.
WHERE snow-drifts are deepest he frolics along,
A flicker of crimson, a chirrup of song,
My Cardinal-Bird of the frost-powdered wing,
Composing new lyrics to whistle in Spring.
A plump little prelate, the park is his church;
The pulpit he loves is a cliff-sheltered birch;
And there, in his rubicund livery dressed,
Arranging his feathers and ruffling his crest,
He preaches, with most unconventional glee,
A sermon addressed to the squirrels and me,
Commending the wisdom of those that display
The brightest of colors when heavens are gray.
THE SMALL HOT ROBIN AND THE LARGE
HEARKEN to a Fable of the Recent Heated
On the Small Hot Robin and the Large Cold
The Weather, you ll remember, was Indubitably
Which the Bird seemed likewise, though the
Worm did not.
The Worm lay off and chuckled in the Trickle of
As he heard Folks Comments on the Great Hot
The Robin kept so busy with a Multitude of
That he made Life cooler with his Flip-flap Wings.
The Selfish Worm delighted in the Mercury s
But the Robin never bothered where the Darned
A-hustling for a Dinner kept his Resolution firm,
And he looked most happy when he spied that
He darted and he fluttered and he wriggled and
And he felt Much Better with the Worm inside.
So remember, when it s Torrid, that you mustn t
fret and squirm;
You want to go and hustle for a Large Cold Worm.
WHY MOSQUITOES STING
WHEN Suleiman the Glorious was judge of them
The frail Mosquitoes brought to him a charge
against the Wind;
"O mighty King! whene er we hold our harm
less dance," said they,
"The Wind comes down from Scanderoon and
sweeps us all away!"
Then Suleiman the Glorious gave word to sky
"Oh, bid the gipsy Wind appear to controvert
Across the hills, across the waves, across the
The Wind came down from Scanderoon to plead
before the throne.
The Wind came down from Scanderoon and bent
the cedar mast;
The frail Mosquitoes whirled away like chaff
upon the blast.
Again they strove to urge their suit before the
Again the band, like thistledown, was scattered
wide and far.
But yet again to Suleiman they plied the gauzy
"Behold!" the spiteful chorus jeered, "the jus
tice of the King!
"The King of Men protects by craft the Wind
who grieves us sore;
The Sons of Men shall pay the fine and pay it
o er and o er!"
And since that long-remembered day, the shrewd,
With treble shrill and poisoned bill have wreaked
their wrath on Man.
Doing work no other can,
Deep in dewy nectaries,
Rose and lily, all are thine,
Yet, though oft thy weight they bear,
Dost thou know how they are fair?
Thine are sun and Summer breeze
Hast thou aught of joy in these?
Leave thy clovers tumbled o er!
What s a lily? What s a rose?
Down the golden lane he goes,
Drowsing forth a prosy song,
"Honey! Honey!" all day long,
Wasting life s diviner sweet,
Hiving food for drones to eat.
Oh, thou silly, silly bee!
Idle here and learn of me!
12 [l6 7 ]
THE FIRST CAT
THE Ark on the dark, multitudinous waters
Was tossing; the rain in a cataract poured;
But Noah, his Lady, their sons and their daughters
And all the wild live stock were safely aboard.
They weren t much seasick in spite of the weather
And rather cramped quarters; they d food to
And all things were lovely, when, squeaking to
There rushed from the galley a rabble of mice!
They multiplied yes, like a warren of rabbits!
They plundered the pantry, devoured the grain;
And such were their simply unspeakable habits
That poor Mrs. Noah was well-nigh insane!
She said so in language untrammeled and forceful!
And what might have happened, the Lord only
When Noah, the kindly and ever resourceful,
Went up to the Lion and tickled his nose.
Then thrice sneezed the Lion! and forth from
His Majesty sneezed with, there leaped in a
A silky-haired, dagger-clawed, brisk little Crea
And woe to the ravaging legions of mice!
In twenties, in thirties, in fifties she slew them
Before Mrs. Noah had time to say "scat!"
"Aha!" laughed the Skipper, who watched her
"I don t know Its name, Dear; let s call It
So, born of a sneeze in the Rain of All Ages
That deluged the mountain, the valley, and
The Cat on your hearthstone to this day presages,
By solemnly sneezing, the coming of rain!
THE KITTY AND THE CAT
A HIGHLY Cultured Tiger, both carnivorous and
Was greatly aggravated by a horde of Rodent
That showed the lack of manners uninvited to
And played the Very Mischief with his comfort
and his food.
The Tiger, for the cleansing of his Himalayan
Installed within the domicile a Recommended Cat
Who chased the Sleek Marauders when they
gathered to the feast
(Observing due precautions not to harm them
in the least),
Which left the Tiger happy in his victuals and
While Pussy drew good Wages in addition to her
Now Pussy, growing weary, took a fortnight to
Her health, and left a Kitten as a Likely Substitute.
But Kitty proved Ambitious, and, despite of griev
Devoured all the Rodents but their whiskers and
The Highly Cultured Tiger, being highly pleased
Discharged, with thanks, his Servitors, the Kitty
and the Cat;
And while it s rash to credit every word a person
They say an angry Pussy boxed a hopeful Kitty s
And while I ve told the legend as it runs in Hin
I ve clean forgot the Moral you may find it if
THE Gossips tell a story of the Sparrow and the
The Feline thin and hungry and the Bird exceeding
With eager, famished energy and claws of grip
Puss pounced upon the Sparrow and prepared to
make a meal.
The Sparrow never struggled when he found that
he was caught
(If somewhat slow in action he was mighty quick
But chirped in simple dignity that seemed to fit
"No Gentleman would ever eat before he d washed
This hint about his Manners wounded Thomas
like a knife
(For Cats are great observers of the Niceties of
He paused to lick his paws, which seemed the
Proper Thing to do,
And, chirruping derisively, away the Sparrow flew!
In helpless, hopeless hunger at the Sparrow on
Poor Thomas glowered longingly, and vowed a
"Henceforth I ll eat my dinner first, then wash
myself!" And that s
The Universal Etiquette for Educated Cats.
LITTLE LOST PUP
HE was lost! not a shade of a doubt of that;
For he never barked at a slinking cat,
But stood in the square where the wind blew raw
With a drooping ear and a trembling paw
And a mournful look in his pleading eye
And a plaintive sniff at the passer-by
That begged as plain as a tongue could sue,
"O Mister! please may I follow you?"
Oh, the saddest of sights in a world of sin
Is a little lost pup with his tail tucked in!
Well, he won my heart (for I set great store
On my own red Bute who is here no more),
So I whistled clear, and he trotted up,
And who so glad as that small lost pup?
Now he shares my board and he owns my bed,
And he fairly shouts when he hears my tread;
Then, if things go wrong, as they sometimes do,
And the world is cold and Fm feeling blue,
He asserts his right to assuage my woes
With a warm, red tongue and a nice, cold nose
And a silky head on my arm or knee
And a paw as soft as a paw can be.
When we rove the woods for a league about
He s as full of pranks as a school let out;
For he romps and frisks like a three months colt,
And he runs me down like a thunderbolt.
Oh, the blithest of sights in the world so fair
Is a gay little pup with his tail in the air!
THE AMBIGUOUS DOG
THE Dog beneath the Cherry-tree
Has ways that sorely puzzle me:
Behind, he wags a friendly tail;
Before, his Growl would turn you pale!
His meaning isn t wholly clear
Oh, is the Wag or Growl sincere?
I think I d better not descend
His Bite is at the Growly End.
THE TALE OF TAILS
IN Unrecorded Ages when the Minnows talked
The Very-Clever-Animals were destitute of Tails:
The Monkey and the Possum couldn t hang
emselves to dry,
The Puppy couldn t waggle, nor the Heifer flap
So when the Wild Geese trumpeted that Tails
could soon be had,
The Very-Clever-Animals were very, very glad.
Upon the Day Appointed, when the Quadrupedal
Were flocking to the Trysting-Place-Where-Tails-
The Growly Bear was settling to his wonted win
He called his friend, the Rabbit, an obliging
And pledged him by the Whiskers of the Great
To fetch a fitting Tail-piece for a Self-respecting
But where the Tails were given, there was such
a dreadful crush
A mingled game of football and a bargain-counter
That Bunny, hopping wildly for his own Desired
Forgot his Solemn Promise to his sleepy-headed
The Rabbit was returning to his Merry Native Vale,
Rejoicing in the flourish of a lovely, furry Tail,
When, rapidly descending from his Rocky Moun
He saw the massive figure of his friend, the Growly
Who roared, "My Tail, O Rabbit! Let me have
it on the spot!"
"Why" stammered out the Rabbit, "please
excuse me, I forgot!"
Oh, Bruin swung his forepaw like a mighty iron
He smote our luckless Bunny on the Precious
And shore it off completely, save a little bit of
Still, Honey, for a Bunny that is cotton-tail enough.
YELLOWBIRD and Oriole wing to southern shores;
All the little foresters glean their winter stores.
Frost unlocks the chestnut burr, ripes the chinkapin,
All the little foresters get their harvest in.
Chipmunk in the hazel-grove crams his pouches
Deermouse finds the alder fruit ripe enough to pull;
Butternut and hickory please the Squirrel well;
Apples of the wilderness fill the Woodchuck s cell.
Frisking on the mountainside, rustling down the
All the little foresters hold their Harvest Home.
COYOTE AND THE STAR
THIS is a legend from Siskiyou Bar,
About "The Coyote Who Danced with a Star."
Now, great were the deeds that Coyote had done!
Coyote had stolen the flame of the Sun;
Coyote had opened the Frost- Wizard s pen,
Releasing the Salmon, desired of men.
Coyote was proud of his craft and his might,
His fleetness of foot and his clearness of sight,
His scent, that was choicest of all that is choice,
But most was he vain of his wonderful voice!
He sat like a monarch exalted on high
Where Sisson s cold summits are keen in the sky,
And watched on the sweep of ethereal blue
The Stars and their satellites pass in review.
Aloft and alone
O er Shasta s white cone
A mischievous Star-fairy twinkled and shone.
So lightly she danced
That, charmed and entranced,
Coyote cried boldly, "Fair, heavenly Sprite,
Permit me to join in your glorious flight;
I beg, I demand!
Oh, reach me your hand!
Together we ll frolic o er water and land."
How flashed the Aurora, till heaven and earth
Were gay with the glow of celestial mirth!
"O hairy Coyote! how stupid you are
To dream for a moment to dance with a Star!"
What pencil will venture what brush will engage
To show the Coyote in justified rage?
He lifted his muzzle, he stiffened his tail,
Affrighting the Night with a quavering wail.
With yelp and with yowl,
With growl and with howl,
He startled the Owl and the Panther aprowl.
He screamed like a baby bereft of his toys;
He shattered the sky with his scandalous noise,
With his "Yap! yap! ki-yee!"
In its weird minor key,
For never was singer remorseless as he.
All vainly the Fairy cajoled and denied;
He wouldn t hear reason. Then, wearied, she cried,
"I wish you were dumb!
You re crazy; but come!"
And gingerly reached him a finger and thumb.
He leaped ! and away, like the shaft and the feather,
The Star and Coyote were flying together.
And now, as he fled with that Spirit of Light
There rushed far beneath him a glorious sight
Of ranges and canons and barrens and plains,
Of rivers cascading with turbulent rains,
Of armies of bison, and cimmaron gray,
And legions of antelopes bounding away;
The towns of the Mandans, the Nez Perce ranches,
The Utes, Pi-Utes, the dashing Comanches
And Modocs, in-reining their snorting cayuses
And shouting to women with wickered papooses,
"Look! See!" as they waved to that vision afar,
"The Clever Coyote, above, with a Star!"
To caper in style
For many a mile
Careering the heavens, was grand! for a while.
13 [ 183 ]
But frostily grew on Coyote, apace,
The awe and the horror of limitless space.
He felt on his temples the grip of a vise;
The hand of his Partner seemed colder than ice.
Twas dreadful to gaze upon mountains like
The tents of the Kahrocs like flint heads of arrows;
The silvery Klamath, whose broad-bosomed flow
Showed meager, mid hills, like the string of a bow
Relaxed after battle. Grown dizzy and numb,
He loosened his hold on the finger and thumb
And dropped to the earth like a meteor plumb!
And lit with a spat!
As flat as a mat!
So here is the Moral from Siskiyou Bar:
"You Callow Coyote, don t dance with no Star!"
THERE S a pine-built lodge in a rocky mountain
In the shag-breasted motherland that bore me;
And the West Wind calls, and I m turning home
To the hills where my heart is gone before me,
Where a lake laughs blue while the dipping paddles
Where the wild geese are following their leader,
Where the trout leaps up from the silver of the
And the buck strikes his horn against the cedar.
THE BALLAD OF THE BLACKBIRD
THE Blackbird, the Blackbird was once of snowy
What gave the sooty Blackbird a coat as dark as
The Blackbird, the Blackbird had music in his
What gave the croaking Blackbird a harsh, dis
The Blackbird, the Blackbird had once a beak of
What gave the somber Blackbird a golden beak
The Blackbird, the Blackbird came out to greet
He met a merry Magpie that bore a jeweled ring.
The Blackbird, the Blackbird would seek a gem
"I found it," piped the Magpie, "within the
The Blackbird, the Blackbird would learn where
that might be.
"To westward," sang the Magpie, "beyond the
The Blackbird, the Blackbird would know the
cavern s lord.
"A Dragon," chirped the Magpie, "protects the
The Blackbird, the Blackbird would brave the
Dragon s zeal.
"Be honest," warned the Magpie, "and ask, but
do not steal."
The Blackbird, the Blackbird flew fast across
Within the Sable Mountain he found the Treasure
The Blackbird, the Blackbird went hopping down
The ransom of a kingdom was heaped in golden
The Blackbird, the Blackbird forgot what he was
His thieving beak of crimson he dipped in dust
The Blackbird, the Blackbird fled forth in shriek
The Dragon of the Treasure came roaring from
The Blackbird, the Blackbird reached safety
The sulphur-breathing Dragon had scorched his
The Blackbird, the Blackbird can never more
That guilty cry of terror has marred his liquid
The Blackbird, the Blackbird flies off in heavy
The gold he would have stolen defiles his beak
AIRY-MOUSE, hairy mouse,
Keen-eared contrary mouse,
Come from your cavern a star s in the sky!
Swoop on your quarry, the dusk-haunting fly.
Airy-mouse, wary mouse,
Witch-bird or fairy-mouse,
Soft through the shadow the dawn-glimmer steals;
Night s your carousing-time,
Day brings your drowsing-time;
Hence to your hollow and hang by your heels!
TEA WITH A DINOSAUR
You that lived so long before us,
You that ruled this mundane locus
In the days of Diplodocus,
Marvel of your age the classic
Mesozoic time, Jurassic,
Stir your sixty feet of length!
Rouse your prehistoric strength!
Lift your twenty tons anew!
They are taking tea with you!
What effrontery! what mockery!
Rise, oh, rise and smash the crockery!
Once you roamed o er rocks cretaceous
Feasting on the growths herbaceous,
Chewing Damarites gum
With Iguanodon, your chum.
Once you listened to the singing
Of the Pterodactyls, winging
Through the arborescent ferns.
Doing acrobatic turns,
Archaeopteryx bore chorus,
When, with mighty Mososaurus
And Triceratops the proud
Through the tepid seas you plowed.
Now you hearken to the clatter
Of the tea-cups, and the chatter
Of an upstart race, as dwarfish
As a Cenozoic crawfish!
Though they say you re not carnivorous,
Wag that tail and Lord deliver us!
Did some dragon-slaying Horus
Cause your death, great Brontosaurus?
Did the marshes cloak your glory
With their mud? (A shameful story!)
Once you breathed, Creation s wonder,
And your footsteps woke the thunder.
Now, they treat you with disdain;
Say you had a two-pound brain,
Not an ounce of wit to spare,
And the courage of a hare!
Will you hear the shocking slander
Unrevengeful ? Where s your dander?
Make these Men of Science see things!
Raise a riot mongst the tea-things!
Show the might you lived to glory in!
Rise! insulted Dinosaurian!
A MORSEL of rainbow forgot by a shower
Is dashing the dew from the cardinal-flower.
Two delicate pinions delightedly drumming
Are witching the dawn with JLolian humming.
A dainty black needle is probing the roses
And proving what nectar the lily incloses.
But under the honey-vine s odorous cover
A true little bride waits her recreant lover.
Then, fie! feathered truant, tis time you were
Enough of your feasting and music and singing,
And arrow your flight to that bower of rest
Your spider-web, thistledown, maidenhair nest!
THE RABBIT OF WALES
MY riddle s a joy in a world of despair;
A cousin, they say, of the merry March hare;
He flourishes most at five hundred degrees;
His cradle s a toast and his mother s a cheese;
A troublesome, bubblesome, sweet little beast,
His fragrant enough is as good as a feast
(For who that is mortal may grapple with two?)
When hot, he s ambrosia; when cold, he is glue.
He never had fur, feathers, features, nor scales.
The answer ? Of course ! Tis the Rabbit of Wales.
When Arthur ruled Britain with scepter and sword,
There came to the King at the festival board
A wizard unrivaled in magical spell,
Hight Morgan ap something in F-double-L.
"Bold knights and true maidens!" he said, "ye
There s nothing concealed in the folds of my
Then, "Hey! presto! change!" From the helm
of King Lot
He drew forth a Viand all smoking and hot.
"This Marvel," quoth he, " mongst the chiefs of
Of Rheidol, is known as the Rabbit of Wales."
Then reveled those lordlings, and when it beseemed
They hied them to slumber. And, soothly, they
Of gryfons and dragons and gy aunts, and thynges,
And heathen enchaunters and Saracen kynges,
And boars that had tuishes full twenty rods long,
And jousts that were bloody and strokes that
Of which, when ye read (an it please ye to look)
Set down in the pages of Malory s book,
Remember, that they who recounted these tales
Had banqueted free on the Rabbit of Wales.
He lives through the ages, more soothing than silk,
As potent as porter, as gentle as milk.
Unblemished of youth, he has heightened disport
In hovel and palace, in tavern and court.
When Jonson and Herrick made feasts at the
The Boar and the Mermaid, of them he was one.
He frolicked with Shakespeare, with Chaucer
He s older than Merlin and Owen Glendower;
They find in the primal Devonian shales
The fossil remains of the Rabbit of Wales.
When tables are snowy, and heavenward roll
The violet smoke wreaths that comfort the soul,
He comes! from the region of skillets and spits
Upborne on the platter of rubicund Fritz.
How blithely he bubbles! How sweetly he steams!
How mellow, how yellow, how tender he seems!
So mild is his temper, we ll give it a cross;
Then feed him with mustard and berry brown
And drink his repose in the primest of ales:
"Waes hael! to the rantipole Rabbit of Wales! 5
Tis made of the flour of wheat, so they say,
Although I confess to the dawnings
Of doubt how they mix it on Avenue A
Before it is dried on the awnings.
Fair Italy s sons in the family shed
Alluringly drape it and coil it;
But don t be afraid, for the microbes are dead
As nails when you properly boil it.
Tis blithe, in the cellars of festive New York
To see how the diners assail it!
Some mince it, some reel up its lengths on a fork,
While others devoutly inhale it.
It should be absorbed to "Faniculi s" strains,
Or, maybe, to "Santa Lucia s."
All poets agree it is good for the brains.
The best may be had at Maria s.
[ 198 ]
I like it served hotter, by twenty degrees,
Than any place mentioned by Dante;
Then, quickly! Beppino, with plenty of cheese,
And don t you forget the Chianti!
(A FABLE FOR THE DIFFIDENT)
A CUCKOO, winging toward the Town
Espied a Wren that fluttered down
Upon a thorn;
And, lighting near, the silence broke
With eager words
Demanding how the village spoke
Of other birds.
"How talk they of the Nightingale?"
The Cuckoo cried.
"Her fame resounds through all the vale,"
The Wren replied.
"The Lark," the Cuckoo hinted then,
"Wins equal praise?"
"Why, half the village," chirped the Wren,
"Extol his lays."
"Perhaps they laud the Robin, too?"
Quoth April s bird.
"The Robin? Well, perhaps a few,"
The Wren averred.
The Cuckoo paused. "What share have I
Of praise or blame?"
"Ah," laughed the Wren, who cannot lie,
"None breathe your name."
The Cuckoo huffed in wounded pride;
Away he flew.
"Then must I praise myself" he cried;
His heart should sing from dawn to sunset flare,
Wherever foot may tread his path may lie,
His pack must be too small to hold a care
Who takes for guide the gipsy butterfly.
At morn the thrush, at noon the tinkling brook,
At eve the cricket choir shall cheer his way;
His eye shall find delight in every nook;
The squirrels merry gnomes in red or gray,
The clover bent beneath the booming bees,
The woodchuck, sober monk in russet clad,
The dragon-fly athwart the culverkeys
Shall wake his love of things and make him glad.
Again along a checkered road I swing
Through friendly woods and fields where daisies
While still before me drifts on vagrant wing
The butterfly whose beauty praises God.
GEORGE BERNARD SHAW
A CHEERFUL, well-appointed study at Number
10, Adelphi Terrace, London, W. C., the blaze
of a crackling fire, within, rendered doubly alluring
by the bluster of a detestable March night, without.
Substantial furniture, a neatly arranged desk, and
bookcases filled with orderly volumes, notably the
works of Nietzsche, Schopenhauer, Karl Marx
and Plato, with dramatists old and new, suggest
that the inmate is a methodical person possessed
of philosophic and literary tastes. This diagnosis
is borne out by the appearance of the victim him
self as he stands with his back to the glow, his tall,
thin, alert, Satanic figure sharply outlined against
the yellow flames. How old is he? His some
what scanty hair and beard, once red, but now al
most colorless, indicate that he has emerged from
the larval stage of youthful cynicism and despond
ency and is now in the full enjoyment of that
radiant benevolence and optimism granted only
to those who have known the triumphs and accom
plished promises of half a century and more.
His brown suit, red tie, and soft flannel shirt, as
well as the broad-brimmed Alpine hat which he
has thrown upon the table, reveal the Socialist;
his excessive pallor betrays confirmed vegetarian
ism; while his steel-blue eyes of soldierly direct
ness give assurance that here is one who would
sooner quarrel than eat a bushel of turnips. Upon
the bookcase facing him stands a bronze portrait-
bust, clearly of himself (for it is by the hand of
no less a sculptor than Rodin), upon which his
eyes fall quizzically, yet, on the whole, with great
respect. To the right and left of this master
piece are other works of art an effigy of Ibsen
upon which our Protagonist, as he speaks, confers
a glance of condescending approbation; a bas-
relief of Wagner, which he notices with a slight
nod that seems to say, "Very well, old man; but
it s lucky for you that I devoted myself to Drama
instead of Opera"; and an engraving of the Strat-
ford bust of Shakespeare which must, perforce, be
content with a commiserating smile that may be
interpreted as signifying, "Poor chap! You meant
well, but you didn t know!"
My birth? I beg you, let us call
That mystery unsolved.
In fact, I was not born at all,
But, so to speak, evolved.
My education? Books are naught;
At schools I ve always spurned;
So just put down, "The man was taught";
Or, better still, "He learned."
You seek to know my aim in life?
To write as best I can,
To stir a little wholesome strife
And hunt the Superman.
Myself, the First of Supermen,
I levitate above
Your wabbling world, and now and then
I give the thing a shove.
In motley clad ("the only wear!")
I watch with fiendish grin
Your childish bubbles float in air
And prick them with a pin.
My creed, though big and broad, insists
On ten perfervid hells,
Say one for anti-Socialists
And nine for H. G. Wells.
Ah, yes; I ve written loads of stuff
From changing points of view,
And all of it is bright enough,
And much, I fear, is true.
My Works? behold them, bound in calf
Upon the middle shelf.
They re great; yet, somehow, more than half
I don t believe myself.
For what is Truth? How well I know
A jest confutes the wise!
But this, at least, I m sure is so
It pays to advertise!
WELL, take a chair, cock your feet upon the mantel
(Seeing that s your custom in the "Country of
Though I ve always been averse
My achievements to rehearse,
Yet to ease an Anxious Public I will tell the tale
Trained in a school in the dowie dens of Devon
Joined with wild companions full of dark
I concocted boyish crimes
And composed satiric rhymes
Till my college-mates and pedagogues were all
afraid of ME.
Up came a ship and they packed me back to
There to run a paper like a printer on a spree;
And I wrote of many things,
Yea, of Cabbages and Kings,
For the Secrets of the Universe are openwork to
Sang I the wiles of the black and yellow Aryan,
Brahman or Mohammedan of high or low degree:
Khoda Baksh and Daoud Shah,
Gunga Din and Dana Da,
Their polka-dotted consciences were primers unto
Sang I the ways of the furry-coated Jungle Folk;
Furthermore, the ways of the Best Society;
But, speaking man to man,
Young Mowgli and his clan
In all the prime essentials seemed the better
crowd to ME.
Sang I the feats of the heavy-footed soldier-man,
Infantry and horse, but especially of Three.
Oh, my views are often crude,
And my manners mostly rude,
But Stanley, Jock, and Terence were the best of
friends with ME.
Far went my fame, and afar I went to follow it,
Ranged the zones and continents and roved From
Sea to Sea;
And I wrote of all I saw,
And I flicked you on the raw,
But, Masterpiece or Tommyrot, you bougnt my
books of ME.
Oh, I have whooped for entangled Jingo politics,
Told of sordid battles and of Britons up a tree;
I have bellowed double-bass
For the Glory of the Race,
And Sovereigns and Ministers have taken tips
Ah, I have twanged of the choo-choo car and
Imaging my world and the wonder yet to be;
Electricity and Steam
And the Piston and the Beam
And the Triple-action Whirligig are Poetry to ME.
Now what remains but to sing the Song of Calculus,
Logarithmic lullaby and algebraic glee?
I will chant in Lowland Dutch
Of Quaternions and such,
And the boundless Fourth Dimension shall delight
to honor ME!
IN the hurly and the burly of the Early Pleis
Ere the Adamistic Dynasty began,
I went roaming through the gloaming with my
little forest queen,
Not a Monkey, nor an Evoluted Man.
Oh, we teased the Woolly Bear
And we pulled the Mammoth s hair
And we took the Snarly Tiger by the paw.
Though I ve lived an awful lot,
I have never quite forgot
Human Nature as I knew it in the Raw.
I m a Railer and a Trailer and a Sailor of the Seas
(In my Present Incarnation, let me add),
Anarchistic, atavistic, pessimistic, if you please,
For I ve roved around the world and found it
In the cold Alaskan camps,
On the road with grimy tramps,
On the ocean in the howling of the gale,
I have played a fitting part;
And I learned the writer s art
By inventing lies to keep me out of jail.
If you re burning to be earning over seven cents
You must cultivate the Brutal and the Rude.
Write a story that is gory; milder matter is
For the Public has no taste for Baby Food.
Give em Cruelty and Vice,
Give em Misery on Ice,
Give em rough-and-tumble, marlinspike, and gun;
Give em groans to wake the dead,
Make it Gristly, Ripe, and Red,
For they love their Mental Beefsteak underdone.
JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY
DOWN in Injianny (ez you may uv heard before),
The sweet, ol -fashioned roses grow about the cot
An hummin -birds go dartin roun the swayin
An* daisies edge the gardin paths where Arma-
The little boys plays hooky, an they takes their
Or you kin hear em splashin in the riffled swim-
An other things is happenin what you mustn t
Or the Publishers 11 git you
Wunst there wuz a little boy what didn t mean
But lived in Hancock County near a watermelon-
He might a been a lawyer, but wuz skeered o
So took to paintin signs an things, an actorin ,
An singin* songs with chirp o bird an splash o
With here a tender, homey tale an there a quaint
But don t you go a-makin rhymes that folks
can t do without,
Or the Publishers 11 git you
There s lots o fellers pennin* odes which some
how don t connect,
Becuz they think the major p int is Hoosier
Now dialect is handy ez a means o savin* time
It often helps a lazy bard that s lookin* fer a
But poetry is poetry, no matter what the tongue
The lovin thought, the lyric word appeals to old
An* ef you got the hang uv it there isn t any
That the Publishers 11 git you
LETTERS TO THE LITERATI
TO SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE
GENTLE Sir Conan, I ll venture that few have been
Half as prodigiously lucky as you have been.
Fortune, the flirt! has been wondrously kind to
Ever beneficent, sweet, and refined to you.
Doomed though you seemed one might swear
Doomed to the practice of physic and surgery,
Yet, growing weary of pills and physicianing,
Off to the Arctic you packed, expeditioning.
Roving and dreaming, Ambition, that heady sin,
Gave you a spirit too restless for medicine;
That, I presume, as Romance is the quest of us,
Made you an Author the same as the rest of us.
Ah, but the rest of us clamor distressfully,
"How do you manage the game so successfully?
Tell us, disclose to us how under Heaven you
Squeeze from the inkpot so splendid a revenue!"
Then, when you d published your volume that
England s South African raid (or the Syndicate s),
Pleading that Britain s extreme bellicosity
Wasn t (as most of us think) an atrocity
Straightway they gave you a cross with a chain
(Oh, what an honor! I could not attain to it,
Not if I lived to the age of Methusalem !)
Made you a Knight of St. John of Jerusalem!
Faith! as a teller of tales you ve the trick with
Still there s a bone I ve been longing to pick with
Holmes is your hero of drama and serial;
All of us know where you dug the material
Whence he was molded tis almost a platitude;
Yet your detective, in shameless ingratitude
Sherlock your sleuthhound with motives ulterior
Sneers at Poe s "Dupin" as "very inferior!"
Labels Gaboriau s clever "Lecoq," indeed,
Merely "a bungler," a creature to mock, indeed!
This, when your plots and your methods in story
More than a trifle to Poe and Gaboriau,
Sets all the Muses of Helicon sorrowing.
Borrow, Sir Knight, but be decent in borrowing!
Still let us own that your bent is a cheery one,
Little you ve written to bore or to weary one,
Plenty that s slovenly, nothing with harm in it,
Much with abundance of vigor and charm in it.
Give me detectives with brains analytical
Rather than weaklings with morals mephitical
Stories of battles and man s intrepidity
Rather than wails of neurotic morbidity!
Give me adventures and fierce dinotheriums
Rather than Hewlett s ecstatic deliriums!
Frankly, Sir Conan, some hours I ve eased with
And, on the whole, I am pretty well pleased with
TO J. M. BARRIE
WHAT are you busy at, Barrie, my laddie-boy?
Is it you re golfing, pursued by a caddie-boy?
Man, are you preaching, romancing or joking
What is the blend of tobacco you re smoking now?
Maybe you re writing in hoot-awa dialect
Sketches of orthodox elders and high, elect
Kirkmen of Glasgow, or Thrums, or Glen Quharity,
Long on religion yet lacking in charity,
Banning all pleasures as covertly sinister.
Give us some news of your braw Little Minister
All in your true, Ecclefechan-Glengarry-tone
Where is the voice that is sweeter than Barrie-
There on my table with covers all gilded up,
Peter and Wendy the book you have builded
Out of the games we ve all played but forgot
Out of the dreams that you know such a lot
Spreads, to recall to us poor ephemerides,
How once we roved in the Golden Hesperides,
Roved in our childhood when dreams were realities.
Come! Let s adventure in new principalities;
Fly through the blue empyrean, ecstatical;
Skirmish with Injuns and villains piratical;
Battle with lions and monsters reptilian;
Slip from the gnashings of jaws crocodilian;
Massacre grizzlies and tigers Hyrcanian;
Wander in wonderful caves subterranean;
Build in those underworlds marvelous palaces
Proving the dogmas of physics pure fallacies;
Dance with the mermaids and cope with those
Shark and octopus and terrible cuttle-fish;
Sport in the tree-tops with monkeys that hand
Mangoes and nuts and are perfectly grand to us;
Dig buried treasure in islands with cannibals;
Conquer like Caesars, Napoleons, Hannibals!
Be but our leader, and fearless we ll follow you,
Aye, though the maw of Leviathan swallow you!
Old are the dreamers who, when they awake, be
All that they dreamed in their childhood was
Older are they who, engrossed in endeavor, land
Seldom or never at all in your Neverland.
Oldest are they that forget, in their gravity,
E en that they dreamed in their youth and de
Plodding and grubbing to win just a penny more,
Too dull to sigh for Arcadia any more!
Surely, such renegades we shall not show our
Must we grow up like them? Not if we know
TO MAURICE HEWLETT
WHO S the romancer to tax our credulities?
Who but our hero, Sir Maurice de Hewlett, is!
Have I been reading your "Song of the Renny"
Sure! and it s quite too exciting for anything.
Oh, but your ladies and knights are a fancy lot
Pikpoynts and Blanchmains, Mabilla and Lance-
Borrowed from legend or chivalric chronicle,
Fierce-hearted women folk, braggarts thrasonical,
Nobles as gross as the Nile hippopotami,
Lawless and lustful and skilled in phlebotomy,
Villains that stab while the victim negotiates
Hardly the kind one prefers as associates,
Innocent maidens enmeshed in the scheme of
Do you eat mince-pie to help you to dream of
Faith, tis a bedlam, the realm that you write
Freckled with castles and ladies to fight about.
Aye, tis a kingdom for raising the devil in,
Such as good Brother Jack London would
Bold is your fancy and wildly pictorial,
Strangely controlled and yet phantasmagorial.
Like your old churchmen you strive to illuminize,
Yet, in creating, you only half humanize,
Making your knights and their lovely affinities
Not men and women, but fallen divinities
Driven by Fate and their passions tyrannical.
Then, but you ll say that I m too Puritanical.
Though your morality somewhat too porous is,
You can sling language to beat the thesauruses.
So, go ahead with your epics of greater days,
Making us glad that we re living in later days.
Sing us your Iliads, Eddas, and Odysseys,
Sing us of ladies with palpitant bodices,
Long-sworded bravos and helmeted paladins,
Troubadours, vavasours, Richards, and Saladins!
Sing us of demoiselles, proudly imperial,
Clad in some soft, gauzy, purple material;
Sing us of donjon, portcullis, and bartizan,
Sing us of battle-ax, falchion, and partisan!
Sing us of females that strangle their relatives,
Sing us of poets with pretty appellatives,
Sing of the loves of the lamellibranchia
Anything s better than Senhouse and Sanchia!
BELLA DONNA, BY ROBERT HICHENS
THE Nile: Adorn our painted scene
With dahabeeyahs, sphinxes, scarabs
And choruses of fellaheen,
Saadeyehs, donkey-boys, and Arabs.
Here Nigel Armine brought his wife,
"La Bella Donna" not to trim it,
A lady with a checkered life,
Prepared to go beyond the limit.
Idyllic love, divine but tame,
Had left her peevish, bored, and moody,
When up the Nile Diversion came
A Greek-Egyptian called Baroudi
A millionaire with noble head,
Soft voice, and eyes of burning glances,
The sort of scamp expressly bred
For recent white-and-tan romances,
Who made her woo him. Sad to state,
His love was purely Oriental;
Which means, about the lady s fate
He didn t care a continental.
They met on shadowed desert scaurs,
Baroudi s tent the couple screening.
* * * * *
(Observe, I quote these little stars;
Let Mr. Hichens clear their meaning).
He dropped a hint; she snatched it up.
With powdered lead in rank solution
She dosed her husband s coffee-cup
And would have wrecked his constitution.
But ere the fatal work was done
Appeared that heaven-sent physician
The famous Doctor Isaacson,
A Sherlock Holmes for intuition,
To spoil the game. With little ruth
He rent her sweet, angelic cover;
So Bella Donna owned the truth
And fled by night to join her lover.
He cast her off. In blinded haste,
Before the birds began to twitter,
She staggered far across the waste
I hope to God a lion bit her!
BEYOND the Pleiades:
"Sam Clemens, please."
"Don t know you. Where in space
D you hail from?"
"A place for fun."
"Hmp! tell me what you ve done."
"Let s see. I wrote Huck Finn
"What? Mark! Why, come right in!"
THE YOUNG CELTIC POETS
(WITH THANKS TO G. K. CHESTERTON)
THEIR hearts are bowed with sorrow,
They love to wail and croon;
They shed big tears when they sigh, "Machree,"
Floods when they sob, "Aroon!"
For the Young Gaels of Ireland
Are the lads that drive me mad;
For half their words need foot-notes,
And half their rhymes are bad.
(ONE OF THOSE SAD IRISH POEMS, WITH NOTES)
FROM Arranmore the weary miles I ve come;
An all the way I ve heard
A Shrawn 1 that s kep me silent, speechless, dumb,
Not sayin any word.
An was it then the Shrawn of Eire, 2 you ll
For him that died the death on Carrisbool?
It was not that; nor was it, by the way,
The Sons of Garnim 3 blitherin their drool;
1 A Shrawn is a pure Gaelic noise, something like a groan,
more like a shriek, and most like a sigh of longing.
2 Eire was daughter of Carne, King of Connaught. Her lover,
Murdh of the Open Hand, was captured by Greatcoat Mack
intosh, King of Ulster, on the plain of Carrisbool, and made
into soup. Eire s grief on this sad occasion has become pro
3 Garnim was second cousin to Manannan MacLir. His
sons were always sad about something. There were twenty-
two of them, and they were all unfortunate in love at the same
time, just like a chorus at the opera. " Blitherin their drool"
is about the same as "dreeing their weird."
Nor was it any Crowdie of the Shee, 1
Or Itt, or Himm, nor wail of Barryhoo 2
For Barrywhich that stilled the tongue of me.
Twas but my own heart cryin 5 out for you,
Magraw! 3 Bulleen, Shinnanigan, Boru,
Aroon, Machree, Aboo! 4
^he Shee (or "Sidhe," as I should properly spell it if you
were not so ignorant) were, as everybody knows, the regular,
stand-pat, organization fairies of Erin. The Crowdie was
their annual convention, at which they made melancholy
sounds. The Itt and Himm were the irregular, or insurgent,
fairies. They never got any offices or patronage. See Mac-
Alester, Polity of the Sidhe of West Meath, page 985.
2 The Barryhoo is an ancient Celtic bird about the size of a
Mavis, with lavender eyes and a black-crape tail. It con
tinually mourns its mate (Barrywhich, feminine form), which
has an hereditary predisposition to an early and tragic demise
and invariably dies first.
3 Magraw, a Gaelic term of endearment, often heard on the
baseball fields of Donnybrook.
4 These last six words are all that tradition has preserved
of the original incantation by means of which Irish rats were
rhymed to death. Thereby hangs a good Celtic tale, which
I should be glad to tell you in this note; but the publishers say
that being prosed to death is as bad as being rhymed to death,
and that the readers won t stand for any more.
THE WRATH OF THE POET
PM telling ye now of a hero of story
The Seanachan, chief of the bards of his time,
That harped before Guaire the King in his glory
And proved to all Connaughtthe Power of Rhyme.
When all in the palace was having a gay time
The Seanachan entered, the brisk little man;
"Mille failthe!" sez the King; "ye re as welcome
And what are ye eating? and fill up yer can!
"The whisky s forninst ye, the pot s on the bubble;
And won t ye be having a slice of the leg?"
"My thanks," sez the Bard; "am I giving ye
To ask them to boil me a bit of an egg?"
They boiled him an egg and they brought it to
But while he was tuning his harp for a lay,
The crafty old Rats from the cellar was able
To reach the Bard s dinner and roll it away!
And when he preceived how them Rats had been
His wrath was tremendous, his anger was strong;
He knew that his dinner was gone past retrieving,
And hurled at the scamps all the might of his
He sang of their wives and their sons and rela
He sneered at their habits, the taints of their
He blazoned the sins of their past generations
And all their great-grandmothers back to the
Now mind ye, the words that he used in his
Were those of a Poet well taught and well
Still, since there is always some ladies in hearing
Tis best to forget what he sang and he said.
But, ah, the poor Rats! When those wretched
Had felt the full wrath of the Bard they d
They crawled from their crannies in troops and
And, lifting their pitiful paws up, they died I
So mark what I m telling, ye saucy gossoon ye!
Don t anger a Poet, whatever ye re at,
For fear he should curse ye, defame ye, lampoon ye,
And rhyme ye to death like an old Irish Rat!
THE NEO-CELTIC CRITICISM
WASN T ye there when the Celtic tragedians
Played to a houseful of Irish comedians
All of them zealous in matters Hibernian,
Full of the ripest of Dublin Falernian
All of them experts, entitled to criticize,
Laden with eggs to assist them to witticize?
Plain was the stage, and the costumes was pea
All the proceedings was easy and pleasant-like,
Till, says the Hero (a queer Irish laddie, now!),
"Sure, an I m just after killin me daddy, now."
Up from his seat jumped a critic meticulous:
"Bosh!" says he loudly; " tis vile an ridiculous!"
And, for to prove that his judgment was plenary,
Hove a potato right into the scenery!
"Yes," says another, "I fully agree with ye.
Erin, sweet Erin, they re making too free with ye!
Such fabrications are false and felonious;
Here s a tomato that brands them erroneous!"
"Sir," cried a third, "yer position s invincible!"
Hurling an egg in defense of the Principle.
"Aye," chimed a fourth, and to clinch it, upsetted a
Critical vial of pure asafoetida.
Then came a shower of erudite reasoning
Cabbages, turnips, and pepper for seasoning
Till, though undaunted, the Irish Melpomene
Saw all the stars in the book of astronomy.
Now to the aid of the criticized player folk
Rushed the policemen, rebutting the gayer folk,
Out through the lobby persuasively booting them,
Using their clubs in the way of confuting them.
When in discussion the Bluecoats had bested them,
Straightway those fine Irish critics arrested them.
Scolding the culprits, says Magistrate Corrigan,
"Don t ye be doing the like any more again.
Shut up your mouths ! I don t want any speech of ye;
Ten paper dollars I m asking from each of ye.
And, ye ll remember, when next ye are hating things,
Clubs are the old Irish means of debating things!"
THE VILLAIN PROTESTS
A NOVEL (published by Macmillan)
Is now before you; I m the Villain.
For, though a Villain I abhor,
That s what my Author means me for.
Now, if your intellect s alert, you
Will know that I m in love with Virtue;
Yet, all to help the story, I m
Foredoomed to Wickedness and Crime.
A sad predestination this
To work for meed of groans and hisses,
To shuffle, cozen, slay and rob
And fail! however, that s my job.
A Hero may be vain or idle
Or dissolute or homicidal;
But he is privileged, and so
Emerges whitewashed, pure as snow.
Then what determines who in fiction
Shall have your praise or malediction
Yes, who shall be the Villain, who
The Hero? Just a Point of View!
Does anybody doubt that Nero
In his own story was the hero?
While Washington, I ve somewhere heard,
Was not revered by George the Third.
So, Gentle Reader, judge me rightly
And see a Hero, brave and knightly,
Resolved to foil, by hook or crook,
The Caitiff Author of this book!
My plots shall all be most successful;
I ll win the Heroine distressful
(Her love is all a body needs
To sanctify his darkest deeds).
My adversaries I ll belabor;
And when upon my flashing saber
That Other Fellow I impale,
/ // be the Hero of this tale!
OPERA IN ENGLISH: AlDA
THE other night I went with Vida
To hear the opera, "Aid a,"
Which offers musical descriptions
Of love among the old Egyptians.
Amneris, (lovely Madame Homer,
A star, and that is no misnomer)
A Princess, was exceeding partial
To young Radames, brave and martial,
Whose heart, alas! was palpitating
About the royal maid-in-waiting
Aida (Madame Emmy Destinn,
Who really didn t look her best in
A sable frock with golden borders).
Radames, getting marching orders,
Led forth to war his gallant bowmen
And soon returned with captive foemen,
Among these luckless ones, a rather
Unruly chief, Aida s father!
(A king of Ethiopia shepherds
Arrayed in skins of spotty leopards.)
Radames, loath to treat severely
The kin of her he loved so dearly,
Implored the priests to loose his chattel.
Radames having won a battle,
The council felt obliged to heed him.
They cheered the captive king and freed him.
The savage king proved aught but grateful;
He growled, "Your Egypt s simply hateful!
Hist! Friend Radames, take my daughter;
We ll flee afar from chains and slaughter;
Amid the pleasant desert places
Fll make you lord of other races!"
The plotters three away were winging
When all the others heard them singing
And found their song sufficient reason
To cast them into jail for treason.
Now came Amneris, half-demented;
She cried, "Radames, they ve consented
To spare you if, no more a rover,
You ll swear to throw Aida over!"
Radames (Signor E. Caruso),
Refusing stubbornly to do so,
They buried him beneath the pavement!
Ai da shared his quick begravement,
And so they perished, Heaven love them!
Amneris shedding tears above them.
WHAT THE EDITOR WANTS
MY dear Mr. Inkling:
We want in a twinkling
A story just tinkling
With humor and zest;
Not gloomy or fearful
Or morbid or tearful
But pleasant and cheerful
And one of your best.
The kind that we meet with
But seldom; a treat with
A plot that s replete with
Heart interest, you know;
And yet not unduly
Bizarre or unruly,
But quite comme il faut.
We like brisk narrations
With bright conversations
And lively flirtations
(That end with a ring),
Or young politicians
And maidens with missions
Who better Conditions
And that sort of thing.
We re fond of the prattle
Of punchers of cattle;
We ll stand for the rattle
Of guns, and a deal
Of ranch or hacienda;
Or maybe you ll send a
Romance a la Zenda
All flashing with steel.
We trust that you re shipping
A tale simply ripping
And virile and gripping,
Yet nothing above
Our Readers, nor slushy
Nor mushy nor gushy,
But oh, slightly blushy,
With plenty of love!
MY table holds a book, well scored,
A simple gift my mother gave;
Above my couch-head hangs a sword,
A sword that helped to free the slave.
My shelves are bare of costly books,
My walls of works that Art would prize,
But down upon me ever looks
One pictured face with constant eyes.
These give me strength to speak to men
What truth I know; they cheer Defeat,
They counsel Doubt; they rule my pen,
Three mentors, wise and strong and sweet.
No bitter word I dare to trace,
No craven thought, no phrase untrue,
While Book and Sword and your dear face
Keep watch and ward on all I do.
THIS BOOK IS DUE ON THE LAST DATE
AN INITIAL FINE OF 25 CENTS
WILL BE ASSESSED FOR FAILURE TO RETURN
THIS BOOK ON THE DATE DUE. THE PENALTY
WILL INCREASE TO 5O CENTS ON THE FOURTH
DAY AND TO $1.OO ON THE SEVENTH DAY
RETURN TO DESK FROM WHICH BORROWE1
j*f Q-o r:
LD 62A-50m-7, 65
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